“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” With a last sigh your head drops slowly towards us, with your chin just above the breast-bone. We can now look up at your face; finally it is relaxed and calm, illuminated with the gentle majesty of God.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. We have come to the end. With a sigh, Christ’s head drops slowly towards his us, his chin lies now just above the breast-bone. We can look up into his face. Finally it is relaxed and calm, illuminated with the gentle majesty of God. The most tremendous deed that has ever been done upon earth is completed; the most tremendous torture turned into the most tremendous act of love. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has died.
His last words—Father, into your hands I commend my spirit—what a wonderful image they convey! It is the image of the hands of your loving Father reaching out and embracing you. Your suffering is over. Your mission is complete.
These are the same hands that reach out to us, every day. They are the hands of our Father who has created us, and who holds us in being. They are the hands of a Father who blesses and embraces us; these are the hands that will receive us at the hour of our death.
Let us thank our Lord for allowing us to spend these moments with him, to accompany him in his suffering, to listen to his last words. Each one of them was well measured, from his heart, for he had not the strength to say much more.
As we continue to contemplate the Passion of Christ this Good Friday and await the Resurrection, let us repeat with St. Paul, “I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and has given himself up for me”—given himself up into the hands of his Father.
Meditations on the 7 Last Words of Christ: