Each year our church takes a moment of worship and reflection as we look at the seven last words of Jesus as He was nailed to the cross. Tonight I had the pleasure of sharing “The Seventh Word.” I thought I would share that with you here.
The Seventh Word. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”
In this final saying, Jesus gives us a beautiful picture of love and sacrifice.
I remember as a child, that every major holiday my grandmother would invite my
family, my aunts, uncles, and cousins to her home to celebrate together. Whatever
the holiday was – Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving – the day always included a meal.
Now I’m not talking about any simple, put-it-together-in-one-day type of meal. No.
That would be too easy.
This was the kind of meal that began a week in advance. The pecans were purchased
the weekend before. The potatoes and green beans were always hand picked from
her garden. The corn had been shucked, shaved, and set aside.
The noodles were always made from scratch: some flour, some eggs, water, and
shortening. They were mixed, rolled, and cut by hand. It always left a floury mess on
grandma’s hands, clothing, and countertops.
Grandma made certain that everyone had something to eat that they particularly
enjoyed. For me, it was always chicken-n-dumplings. My sister always had “cheesy
noodles.” Others were given pan-fried chicken, rhubarb pie, German-chocolate cake,
deviled-eggs, or whatever your delight. We knew that if we wanted something
special on that day, we simply had to ask.
Grandma worked hard in the kitchen – hot or cold – it didn’t matter. She lived to
She set the table; plates and utensils in their proper place. The food was presented
in a glorious fashion. The chicken stacked up on fine china. The noodles staying
warm in a decorative bowl. The eggs waited on a crystal plate. And the desserts
were reminiscent of a scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
All of this was done because she loved us and valued our time together.
When the time came to eat, we would gather around the tables and thank God for
the food and our family. Then we would partake of the great presentation before us.
The word “commit” here means to present. While my grandmother would plan,
prepare, and present a meal for our family over a weeks time; Jesus had spent His
entire lifetime preparing for this moment. He knew what what was being asked of
Him and He followed through with incredible precision. He was tempted, mocked,
beaten, betrayed, written-off, and abused. But that didn’t keep Him from doing what
His Father asked of Him. He had lived a perfect live and is now surrendering that life
unto His Father.
It’s as if Jesus is saying, “Father, this life and now this death, is for Your delight.”
Jesus is trusting His Father with His life, death, and future. He is trusting that His father will do what He said He would – raise Him from the dead in 3 days time. In this final moment, Jesus is showing us how to follow through in faith. What a great example He has set before us!