Seventh Word


“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (NRSV, Luke 23:46)

Jesus dies upon the Cross.  The fury of the world has spent itself in vain and Jesus passes out of its power to hurt him more.

In his first recorded word when he was yet a boy, it was the Father’s name which was upon his lips, “Did you not know”, he said to his Mother and St Joseph, “that I must be in my Father’s house?” (NRSV, Luke 2:49).  Now with his dying breath he commits himself into his Father’s hands.

How very revealing are the last words of dying people!  We have already thought of the robbers crucified with him.  One died as he had lived, his faculty of speech employed even to the end in cursing and swearing.  Very different was his companion with his plea, “Jesus, remember me”.  He brought nothing but a broken and penitent heart and cast himself and his life upon the compassion of Christ.

But how different again were Our Blessed Lord’s last words, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (NRSV, Luke 23:46) – words which show us not only how to die but how to live.  There is no backward glance now, since his triumphant declaration, “It is accomplished”.  So he leaves this world with no regrets, no hesitation, no uncertainty.

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