After quoting the first words of Psalm 22 (see The Cross to the Grave, Part III – Forsaken) Jesus speaks three more times before surrendering His human body to physical death.
“I thirst.” (John 19:28)
“It is finished.” (John 19:30)
And crying with a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” And when He had said this, He breathed out the spirit. (Luke 23:46)
Jesus speaks boldly, not with the faint heart of a tortured and dying human. His speech, described as “crying with a loud voice” shows the strength of his proclamation. A similar description was given by Matthew and Mark when Jesus quoted the first line of Psalm 22.
Christ’s life could only be given voluntarily by Christ himself: “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18)
In His last address to the Father, Jesus again quotes from a Psalm of David (Psalms 31:5). Jesus commits His spirit to the Father. The greek word translated as commit (G3908) means to place alongside, that is, present; by implication to deposit (as a trust or for protection). From the beginning to the end of His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus trusts the Father.
Mary, surrounded by family, stood near the cross of Jesus. If only she could rescue him, or at least ease his pain. How could it be that her son would suffer in this manner, sentenced to death by the people he came to redeem? She uttered no words. Was she mute by the horror of her son’s condition or silent in reverence of the Son of God? Did the words of Simeon, spoken shortly after she gave birth to Jesus, come to mind?
“. . . a sword will pierce even your own soul — to the end that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:35
Jesus looked at his mother as she watched his execution. He understood her pain and grief. In his third selfless act from the cross Jesus showed his love for her, his words prompting John to take Mary away from the horror of watching her son suffer and die.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold thy son!” Then Jesus spoke to John and bestowed the honor of caring for Mary. “. . . Behold thy mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. John 19:26-27
As Simeon had prophesied, the condition of many hearts were revealed that day, from the most evil to the most pure. Jesus revealed His heart of empathy and perfect love. Out of love for God the Father Jesus restrained his own deity and surrendered to physical death. His act of submission vanquished the power of sin over humanity, and secured a way for all those who believe in His death and resurrection to be reconciled with the Father.
“. . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their sins unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19