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April 11

Going Home

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”
Luke 23:47Psalm 31:5
These were Jesus last words on the cross and are the same words David used when he prayed asking God to be his rock of refuge, delivering him from his enemies and danger.  However, Jesus used these words not to escape from danger, but as a commitment of Himself to go back to the Father. He was obedient to death in fulfillment of the mission the Father had for Him to accomplish while incarnate (in human flesh). Jesus had voluntarily given up His life which no one could take from Him. In John 10:17, 18, Jesus says: “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my Father.”
Jesus was about to give up his humanity and return to the Father with Whom He was, and is One. His return to the Father was a great deal easier than taking on human form as deity and living and dying a criminal’s death. Philippians 2:5-11.  “Committing his spirit into the Fathers hands” would be the exaltation to the “highest place” spoken of in the Bible reference noted.
I remember being at the hospital bedside of 12 year old Johnny with his adopted Christian parents. Johnny’s 12 years on earth had been 12 years of struggle with body deformities and difficulty breathing, naming only a few of his challenges. Often he would be pulling his oxygen cart, and struggling to walk with steel braces on his legs. He was a happy boy knowing he was loved by his adopted parents, who in their lifetime had fostered 43 children, as well as having 4 of their own birth children. As we watched Johnny’s monitor flat line, a beautiful smile came across his face, which remained there even after he had taken his last breath. Johnny lived wanting to see and be with Jesus. He loved to hold his parents hands and walk with them. Now he would hold the Fathers hand, his spirit having ascended to the Father. He was HOME.

What is remarkable is that the Bible assures us, as devoted Christ followers, that when we die our spirit will be taken to be with the Father as was Jesus’ spirit.  It will be a “going home”, as it was for the Christ. This is the “Good News” that Jesus death for our sin has made possible to everyone who will embrace Him by faith. Are we ready to commit our spirit into His hands?

I first trusted Christ’s death as the payment for my sin when I was only 16 years of age. I continue to trust Him today, and each day brings me closer to my spirit going to be with Him. I thank Jesus for coming to earth and making the sacrifice of being human and going to the cross. Do you?

Father, tomorrow we will celebrate Your resurrection in what we call, Easter. This adds even greater assurance that we will one day be given new bodies just as Jesus was at His resurrection.  The realities of life with you after our death is immediate as it was for Jesus when He committed His spirit into your hands. Thank you for making this all possible by sending Your Son into the world and He being obedient by dying on the cross. Lord I once again repent (turn from) of my sin and turn to You by faith to save me. Thank You, Thank You.
Pastor Bud