Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Seventh Word: “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” (Luke 24:46)

Mark Roberts @ concludes with the seventh in the series on the Seven Last Works of Christ.

In his reflection he notes Psalm 22, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" to express his anguish, and Psalm 31, which comes to us from Luke as "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands."

Then Psalm 31 begins with a cry for divine help:

O LORD, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right. (v. 1)

But then it mixes asking for God's deliverance with a confession of God's strength and faithfulness:

I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, LORD, for you are a faithful God. (v. 5)

By the end, Psalm 31 offers praise of God's salvation:

Praise the LORD,
for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.
He kept me safe when my city was under attack. (v. 21)

In the conclusion to the reflection he notes:
"By quoting a portion of Psalm 31, therefore, Jesus not only entrusted his future to his Father, but also implied that he would be delivered and exonerated. No, God would not deliver him from death by crucifixion. But beyond this horrific death lay something marvelous. "I entrust my spirit into your hands" points back to the familiar suffering of David in Psalm 31, and forward to the resurrection".

He then offers: Questions for Reflection

Have you put your life and, indeed, your life beyond this life, in God's hands?
How do you experience God's salvation through Christ in your life today?

Looking forward to Easter he concludes his prayer:
"So we reflect upon your death, not in despair, but in hope. With Good Friday behind us, Easter Sunday is on the horizon. Amen".

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