Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter – Holy Week 2015 is in the books. A whirlwind of a week for those of us in the church world. An amazing week at Granger Community Church that started with 292 baptisms on Palm Sunday. Good Friday we commemorated the death of Jesus with communion and worship and then Easter Sunday arrived and as we do every year, we had a massive celebration as we reaffirmed our connection to the ancients that discovered that “Jesus is risen, He is not here!” And to Christ, who said about His life, as it’s recorded in John 10:18 –
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.
No one took it from him He willingly laid down His life and because He is God, He took it back up again too. Amazing!
On Good Friday as I stood to give a brief homily of sorts to the packed auditorium filled with retirees, business people on lunch break, young families, teens and restless babies, I could once again look into the eyes of the people of our community and see the deep spiritual hunger that we don’t all recognize but that is there nonetheless.
We all want hope. We all long to know that our lives matter. That there is purpose and meaning to our existence. For that I know no better place to look than to the cross of Christ where He proclaimed that we matter so much that He laid it all down for us, gave it all up and as He did He spoke these 7 sayings from the cross.
On Friday I elaborated on each of these but as I researched these sayings the deeper meaning of number 7 gave me fresh hope and understanding of the power that is in this final message from the cross.
1. Father forgive them for they do not know what they do. – Luke 23.34
2. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise – Luke 23:43
3. Woman this is your son / this is your mother – John 19:25-27
4. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? – Matt. 27:46 and Mark 15:34
5. I thirst – John 19:28
6. It is finished – John 19:29-30
7. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit – Luke 23:46
“That is Psalm 31:5 with one word added–Father. That verse may have been the prayer every Jewish mother taught her child to say last thing at night. Just as we may have been taught to say, ‘Now I lay me down to sleep,’ so the Jewish mother, before the threatening darkness came would teach her child to say, ’Into thy hands I commit my spirit.’ Jesus made it even more lovely for he began it with the word Father. Notice that as He hands over His spirit, Jesus goes back to saying, Father. It was no longer, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” You see when Christ said “it was finished“, it was finished, the price had been paid and I now believe that at this point fellowship with His Father had been restored.
Allstate commercials encourage us to put out trust in them, the good hands people. “You’re in good hands with Allstate”. But the truly trustworthy hands are those of our heavenly Father.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”
He has a plan for our lives that will benefit us. He has a plan that will bring hope to our lives. Trust him; He is worthy, His hands are trustworthy. Into His hands we can commit our spirit.
This is Golden! Gold from Golgotha!
“This gold of Golgotha He freely offers to those who will receive it. With what astounding moderation we avail ourselves of the priceless treasure!” – final paragraph in Gold from Golgotha by Russell Bradley Jones copyright 1945 – long out of print but the contents are as the title indicates. Gold!