Tuesday, July 6, 2010

“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. (Luke 23;46-47)
Something that puzzled me a little bit about this scripture was this—what was it that Jesus said that made the centurion say that Jesus was a righteous man?

I think Jesus spoke of delivering His spirit to the Father with a confidence that suggested to the centurion that He would be welcomed. There was no fear of death in His demeanor, although He was in such pain. The centurion must have thought to himself, This man speaks to his father god with such confidence of meeting him that he must have nothing on his conscience to regret. I could not do that. I would be afraid to meet god; I’m afraid he would be displeased with me.

This is also supported by the different meanings of commend. There are three meanings--one is to praise or applaud. Another is similar to the sense of recommending, endorsing, and vouching for. The third is similar to the sense of entrusting, handing over, and committing someone’s care.(1)

It is obvious that Jesus was handing over His spirit to the Father, but it seems that the centurion also saw Jesus’s words represented a self-endorsement, a speech of self-recommendation. And truly, only Christ would be able to vouch for Himself.

1 Oxford American Dictionaries widget for Macintosh. “commend”


Roger and LeAnn said...

As usual you always have great incite into the scriptures; thanks for sharing these thoughts.
Blessings to you ! LeAnn