“Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father! In Your hands, I place My spirit!” He said this and died.”Luke 23:46 GNT
No doubt, if you are familiar with the story of Christ’s death and resurrection, you have heard these words…probably, numerous times! However your translation of Scripture puts it (commit, commend, place, entrust), you, most likely, recognize that Jesus was on the cross when He said this. After this, He died. Commit, commend, place, entrust…It may not seem like a big deal which word is used in this verse, but I believe it is! It can give us so much more of a correct view of what happened. Let me show you why.
While all of these words have portions of their meanings that could fit here, “commend” is my favorite to fully encapsulate the intended meaning, which is so much more than just handing over His spirit. The word for this action, in Greek, is paratithémi; pará means “right close beside” and títhēmi means “to place, put.” If the meaning, here, was merely to place His spirit in the Father’s hands, títhēmi would have been used here all by itself…but it wasn’t! The fact that paratithémi was used lets us know that His spirit was placed in the Father’s hands…right next to the Father!
“But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”Luke 22:69 ISV
“but He, when He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God;.Hebrews 10:12 ASV
Another crucial ingredient to this is that in Hebrew, the hand is “the instrument a person uses to accomplish their purpose (their intention or plan).”
Jesus was the instrument that the Father used to accomplish His intention!
“For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God Who sent me, not to do My own will.”John 6:38 NLT
Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment [to separate those who believe in Me from those who reject Me—to declare judgment on those who choose to be separated from God], so that the sightless would see, and those who see would become blind.”John 9:39 AB
“For the Son of Man also did not come to be waited upon, but to wait on others, and to give His life as the redemption-price for a multitude of people.”Mark 10:45 WNT
“When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor; those who are sick do. I’ve come to call sinners, not people who…have God’s approval.”Mark 2:17 GWT
“Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it produces a lot of grain…Now, My soul is greatly distressed, and what should I say? ‘Father, deliver Me from this hour?’ No, but for this very reason I have come to this hour.”John 12:24 ISV, 27 NETB
These are just some of the purposes Scripture reveals for why Jesus came. On the cross, after the sin of the world was put on Him, displayed through the darkness above the ground for three hours (see the post before this one for more on that), Christ, the ultimate sacrifice, had completed His purpose. Just like any sacrifice is offered, He offered Himself to His Father and thus, completed His Father’s purpose. His sacrifice was approved and accepted by God the Father!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”John 3:16-17 ESV
“He went once for all into the Holy Place [the Holy of Holies of heaven, into the presence of God], and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, having obtained and secured eternal redemption [that is, the salvation of all who personally believe in Him as Savior].”Hebrew 9:12 AB
I don’t know about you, but this picture…the accomplishment of all He was sent here to do; placing Himself, His blood, His spirit in the hands of the Father for approval; basically saying, I’ve been Your hands, Your feet, Your voice; I’ve accomplished everything You sent me down to earth from heaven to do; “It’s finished!” and, having been approved, is sitting next to God the Father…stirs my soul so much more than merely acknowledging He was ready to die and, in displaying His dedication and submission, handing His spirit over to His Father’s care and protection. I hope, as you reflect on Christ’s death for you, it, too, stirs your soul and causes you to praise Him!!!