During this mornings joint Good Friday service one of the pastors went up and spoke on some of the final words of Jesus while hanging on the cross. What he says about Jesus’ words here I have not yet verified. I hope it’s true and will, at an opportune time, dig into it. But for now I figure the concept was cool enough to share it with you while it’s fresh on my mind.
“Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.” – Luke 23:46
As I child in Catholic school I remember learning a particular childhood prayer: When I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. You may have learned a similar prayer. Working in a Christian bookstore I can say that it is no irregular occurrence for mothers of young children to come into the store to look up that pray on a stuffed lamb or a plaque or in a child’s book to teach it to their children.
The pastor pointed out that mother’s of first century Judaism had a similar practice. Every night when they laid their children down to sleep they would pray with them, and the closing refrain to whatever the prayer they prayed was always the same. They took it from the Psalms:
“Into your hand I commit my spirit.” – Psalm 31:5
It’s instructive that while hanging on the cross the final words of Jesus are those his mother would have taught him each night before he went to sleep as a child.