Death appeared to have the last word. But when it looked like He was powerless on the cross, Jesus was still in control, willingly giving himself into the Father’s hands. Pastor Lutzer points to the hand of God in Jesus’ example of death and work of redemption. If we are in God’s hands, we never face death the same way again.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer” and today we come to the end of our series, entitled, “Cries from the Cross: A Journey into the Heart of Jesus.” if you missed any of these episodes, I hope that you go back and listen to them again and again; share them with your friends because I believe that as we stand and linger at the foot of the cross our appreciation for our redemption is so enhanced and we become better servants and worshippers of the Lord God Almighty.
Well today, as I mentioned, we come to saying number seven. Jesus says, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My Spirit.” In saying those words Jesus actually is teaching all of us how to die. My sister was a missionary in Africa and she said that in Africa when a believer dies he “dies a good death.” What they mean by that is he gathers all of the friends around and with as much energy as he or she may have, exhorts them to be courageous, to face death successfully, because after all they know Christ as Savior. When Jesus died,
He died within the presence of God. If you were with us you know that when He cried out, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” fellowship with the Father was broken. That was temporary. Now the fellowship is back. “Father, into Thy hands I commit My Spirit.” I have to tell you I love those words. And one of the writers of the New Testament said that He “dismissed His Spirit,” which means that Jesus was always in charge of everything, even including His death. He dies within the presence of God.
He also dies within the providence of God. He died at exactly the time that Passover lambs were being slain in Jerusalem. Because after all He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and He is that Lamb and to illustrate the fact that He is that Lamb that’s when He dies. The scripture says in the book of Acts, that wicked hands crucified Christ, but it was also by the predetermined council of God. Now there’s a lot of mystery there that we can’t go into except to say that Jesus died at the right time.
Speaking of wicked hands, it was wicked hands that nailed Jesus to the cross. It was wicked hands that falsely accused Him. Wicked hands, of course, took the crown of thorns and pushed it on His brow. Wicked hands lacerated Him. But, my dear believer, today I want you to remember that there comes a time when wicked hands can do nothing more and the hands of God take over. As a matter of fact, even when we are thrown into the hands of the devil we are actually still in the hands of God if we are believers. And I could show that to you from scripture if we had time. I remember here at the Moody Church, preaching a message on the words of Jesus that said this, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” So the title of the message was “Hands in Harmony.” If you’re a believer, you’re in the hand of God, the Father, you’re in the hand of God, the Son, and they will take us all the way to the heavenly kingdom. When it’s time to die I’d love to have time to say, “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”
Now let me end with a very sobering word. And it is this: One way or another you will be in God’s hands. Either you will be in God’s hands as a believer or you will be in God’s hands as a judgment. The Bible says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. One way or another we will meet that Living God, either taken into His hands for safe keeping or taken into His hands for judgment and I want to ask you this question. What for you will it be? It would be tragic to end this series without giving you an opportunity to examine your own heart and to ask you—are you a true believer or did you just say a prayer, thinking that the prayer would save you? Or have you come to saving faith, recognizing your sin, recognizing your need and putting all of your faith in the hands of one qualified to take you to the Father in whose hands we shall be forever? So no matter what’s happening to you today, to quote the words that are found in the book of Deuteronomy, “Underneath are the everlasting arms,” the “hands of God.” Thank you so much for joining us and I hope that you join us next time as we begin a new series but as for today you just go God.