Today is Good Friday. That it is called ‘good’ has puzzles many people. Perhaps we could call it God Friday. For me today is not the day to enter into a theology of Jesus’s death and dying. Today is for me a day to follow him up the Appian Way, stand at the foot of the cross and watch the sky turn dark and just be in the emptiness that ensures. The emptiness of a world without Jesus.
In Luke’s gospel the last words of Jesus are ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ These last words are words of trust. These last words are words that acknowledge Jesus giving himself over to his Father. Another translation reads ‘Into the hands of thee, I commit the spirit of me.’ It is poetry. In these words Jesus’ spirit is put directly into God’s hands. Spirit to hands. Jesus to the Father. One sacred human reality committed to the ultimate reality of all life. From a cradle manger to the cradle of God’s hands. Catching him as he falls from life. His last breath returning to the breath of God. In another forty days or so the spirit of Christ will come back into the world to be spread by his followers across the world. To enable a life in Christ that can be given to all who want it. In the last moments of his death Jesus is telling us the term of his life. He is telling us about the term of our lives as well.
Today, with his last breath breathed out, the spirit of Jesus is firmly, squarely placed into the hands of the God of the Life, his Father, Creator of the world, who in the beginning formed the earth and the human person from clay by the work of his hands. Today God’s hands have been rendered immobile, nailed down by fear and misunderstanding. Nailed down by those who feared he was going to upset their smooth running apple cart, the bed they had made with the Romans. God’s spirit was breathed into Adam to give him/us life. Today it is this same spirit breathed out across the universe creating the world anew in Jesus’s last breath. He gives up his spirit and is gone. He gives up his spirit and gives us at last to truly be a part of him. He gives us new life, more life, a life made whole in him. More Jesus.