Theology | 15 comments | 5 min read

The Final Words of Jesus

Mar 26, 2024

Mark Vroegop

Guest Contributor

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” 

These are the final words spoken by Jesus on the cross. 

The heartbreak of false accusations, betrayal, abandonment, and the crowds cheering for crucifixion have reached their cruel conclusion. The agony of abusive mocking, the crown of thorns, flesh-ripping flogging, hands and feet nailed, the struggle for every breath, and hanging naked have reached their intended outcome. 

Death is seconds away. 

There’s nothing peaceful or serene about this moment.

Luke is the only writer to record these words. Matthew and Mark simply say that Jesus “cried out again in a loud voice” and “breathed his last” (Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37). These are the final words of the suffering Savior reaching the finish line of His calling. 

Only a few more breaths.

Here is the perfect Son of God experiencing the outrageous effects of a sin-cursed world. Here is the obedient Savior embracing the horror of death to provide atonement. Here is the Lamb of God hanging between heaven and earth to take away the sin of the world.

His last breath. 

Slumped silence. 

Chin to chest. 

It’s over. 

Jesus died. 

His mission on earth—completed.

His statement—“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”—like others on the cross is from the Psalms. His life and mind are so saturated with the Scriptures that verses erupt in this painful moment. Once again, He quotes a psalm of lament—Psalm 31. But He doesn’t quote a verse about hidden nets, worthless idols, the hand of the enemy, grief, or affliction. 

Instead, He quotes a verse about trust. “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” This is not only the destination of a lament; it’s the destination of His ministry, His life, and His death. 

Jesus suffers while trusting.

He dies while trusting.   

In a Jewish home, Psalm 31 was often used in evening prayer as the final song before lying down to sleep. It was offered in hope that God would care for His people through the darkness of the night. It was sung in faith, believing that God’s goodness is “abundant” and “stored up for those who fear” the Lord (verse 19). Psalm 31 anticipates the steadfast love of the Lord being shown to us when we are “in a city under siege” (verse 21). It confidently proclaims that God hears our pleas for mercy even when we feel “cut off from [His] sight” (verse 22). 

So these are not only the final words spoken by Jesus. They are also the last example of His life lived in loving trust with the Father. 

His final words are not usual words. Throughout His ministry, Jesus often talked about His deep love for and connection to the Father: 

  • “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. (Luke 22:42) 
  • “I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:14-15) 
  • “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) 

Final words are important. They represent our last will and testament. Last words are chosen carefully. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” is no different.

His words capture the irreducible minimum of the gospel message: trust.

Here is Jesus, our suffering Savior, completing His calling on earth by dying and trusting. Here is Jesus, our ultimate example, using His final breaths to live in obedient faith. Here is the Son of God staring death in the face and boldly declaring—even shouting—that He is still trusting. 

We know that the crucifixion isn’t the end of the story. But what we witness here is incredibly important.

Jesus suffered and died. But that’s not all. 

He died as He lived: trusting. 

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

He died so that those who trust in Him might live. 

About the Author

Mark Vroegop is the lead pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis and the author of three books, including Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament. He’s married to Sarah, and they have three married sons and a daughter. 

This article was adapted from a post originally published on markvroegop.com. 

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15 Comments

  1. Jesus really suffered on the cross for the sins of the world. The story of how He suffered brings tears to my eyes.

    Reply
  2. “Jesus suffered and died. But that’s not all.

    He died as He lived: trusting.

    “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

    Because of the Resurrection, I can pray every morning:

    “Father, into your hands I commit this day, trusting!! Hallelujah!!”

    Reply
  3. As I read this my mind drifted to the terror of the Middle East and what is taking place near the Hallow Grounds of Jesus’s Crusifixation. May we pray this Easter for these people.

    Reply
  4. We thank God for Such Love for mankind. Always Greatful

    Reply
  5. Personally I prefer John 19:30 as the most important words of Jesus.

    John 19:30 NIV
    [30] When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

    Probably these words came together with Matthew 27:50 but these words ‘It’s finished’ are actually recorded. Matthew did not record any last words.

    The importance of John 19:30 is that all salvation works of Jesus for all humans has been finished. No one needs to add anything but everyone can enjoy everything once he/she believes in Him and His FINISHED WORK ON THE CROSS. Hallelujah.

    Praise the Lord.

    Reply
  6. Hod is so awesome . The explanation of we following our Davior Jesus Christ is awesome.

    Reply
  7. These are SO GOOD. It is helping me to realize the great gift of God and that Jesus’ love for us can be trusted.

    Reply
  8. Bsf is an effective army of Jesus obeying “The Great Commission” to fight the “deceitifull hearts” of us children of God. I commend the loyal, dedicated, disciplined and obedient servants of our Lord serving in BSF and pray for them to keep on reminding us our “Lord searches our hearts, examines our minds to reward each person according to our conduct and according to what our deeds deserve…..” Jeremiah 17: 9-10. Happy Easter rewards brethren.

    Reply
  9. Every time l think about His death, l am reminded how much He had to pay..lt leaves me broken and humbled. What an amazing Savior!

    Reply
  10. Thank you for these timely devotionals!

    Reply
  11. My heart cries out when I think of all He suffered for me to set me free.What a Savior.

    Reply
  12. Trust is the most difficult thing for me to do. I want to trust God & constantly work at it, but also constantly fail.
    I love this new thought…If Jesus can do it, so can I!!!

    Reply
  13. This is my first year in BSF, and I have to tell you what a change it has made in my life! I love the teachings and I always look forward to meeting with my group. God has called me to be a group leader, and I am truly humbled by this. Also, I’m a little nervous. Thank you to all you wonderful women who have guided me on this incredible journey.

    Reply
    • I love,BSF . I have been a participant for over 20 years. Now I am a leader. I enjoy it. I am praying for all the inspired writers. Allow the Holy Spirit to breathe on you, and you all continue the work God started in you all.

      Reply
  14. makes me think!

    Reply

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