Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

06/21/2017

Randall Caselman

 

Committing Our Soul To God

 

  Jesus was hanging on the cross, blood running down His face from the crown of thorns, His back hanging in ribbons from the scourging, His face bruised from the beating and slapping, nails in His hands and feet. Every muscle ached. David describes His pain: "All my bones are out of joint; My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within Me. My strength is dried up, My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth, I can count all My bones. My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me? (Psalm 22. 14-15, 17, & 1)

 

  Scripture gives us seven phrases Jesus uttered in His suffering. We focus on the one where Jesus is found saying: "Into Your hands I commit My spirit." A direct quote from an opening prayer in Psalm 31.1-5.

 

  I'm told that the Jewish evening prayer was one where the worshiper entrusted their soul to God for the night by saying: "Into Your hands I commit my spirit." Then, in the morning prayer, the worshiper expressed his or her gratitude to the Heavenly Father for safely returning their soul. We taught our children to pray a similar prayer, didn't we? "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep."

 

  It's interesting that this prayer is picked up by Jesus as He cried out in dying pain: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23.46).

 

  The Hebrew word for "I commit" is "afkid" and has the connotation of something that is deposited and will be reclaimed in the future. This would have Jesus saying "I deposit My spirit." It would be like depositing our money in the bank. We have a fiduciary agreement with them, we expect to be able to get our deposit back. The Hebrew here has an unequivocal meaning of the temporary deposit of one's spirit into the hand of God, into His custody. So, Jesus is simply expressing His faith and trust in the Father by saying: "Into Your hands I commit My spirit." Jesus knew full-well that he would receive it back because he had a fiduciary agreement with the Father. Indeed, three days after the"deposit" He received it back again.

 

  So, the question becomes, do we have such a fiduciary agreement with the Father? We must!! Hebrews 11.6 tells us that without faith we cannot be pleasing to God. Have we committed, deposited, our soul with Him? Have we committed, deposited, our soul to His care by dying to sin and being raised to walk a new life? Paul tells us that it is this fiduciary agreement that saves us, and that this salvation occurs at our baptism: "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (Galatians 3.26-27).

 

  It is by such faith and trust in God that we commit, deposit, our soul, our marriage, our career, our finances, our entertainment choices, our morals, our religious activity, our trials and pain, our joy and sorrows– Knowing full well that we will receive His promise to walk with us here and eternal life after death.

 

  My hope, my prayer, is that you have committed, deposited, your soul, your life, to His care.

 

—Randall Caselman