Reflections: February 13, 2021
Saturday of Sexagesima
By Jacob Ehrhard
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The last words Jesus spoke in His time of humiliation were from Psalm 31. "‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' And having said this he breathed his last" (Luke 23:46). These words evoke the unwavering trust that Jesus puts in His Father in heaven, even after crying out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46) The place for the spirit of Jesus is in the hands of the Father.
This is also an example for you. When life is at its worst, it's not a time to resent God for allowing you to suffer. Suffering is part of life; you can't escape it. Sometimes you bring trouble upon yourself. You can't blame God. Often, though, you find yourself in trouble through no fault of your own.
Rather than retreat from God, times of trouble and suffering are precisely when to lean into God. The second half of Psalm 31:5, the psalm that Jesus quotes with His dying breath, shows what God does for those whose spirits are afflicted: "You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God."
Redemption is an exchange. Jesus offers up His sacrificial death to His Father and receives resurrection three days later. Likewise, your redemption is resurrection. Commit your spirit into the hands of the Father and rest in comfort, knowing that you will be set free from your bondage to corruption.
"Into your hand I commit my spirit." Jesus prayed this prayer with His dying breath. That's a good example for you. In fact, you can rehearse it every night before you go to sleep. Why don't you begin tonight to pray, "Into your hand, I commit my spirit," and anticipate the payout of your redemption in the resurrection. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Into Your hand, O Lord, I commit my spirit. You have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. (Responsory for Compline, LSB p.255)
-Rev. Jacob Ehrhard is the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and School in Chicago, IL.
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