Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep . . . Moms and dads in every generation have prayed with their little ones before bedtime, assuring them that while they slept, they were safe in their heavenly Father’s care.
Like a bedtime lullaby, Jewish parents also taught their little ones to entrust their soul to God for safekeeping until morning. They taught them to pray Psalm 31:5, “Into Your hands I commit my spirit.”
“Commit my spirit” means to “deposit” it—like you deposit money in a bank account. You hand it over for safekeeping, fully intending to get it back.
Every night as He fell asleep, Jesus most likely prayed, “into Your hands I commit my spirit.” He learned it as a boy from Mary and Joseph. The pattern of His life was to pray this at night and in the morning thank God for keeping His soul safe.
Now here as He faced the greatest challenge of His earthly life, Jesus prayed it again with His last ounce of strength. In the horror of dying, Jesus recited to Himself the first verses of Psalm 31:
In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!
For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
(And then He cried aloud) Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
By faith, Jesus deposited His soul into His Father’s hands, knowing He would get it back again when His Father returned His life to Him.
In the cross’ final moments, Jesus knew He had now paid in full the debt of sin. God the Father’s holiness was satisfied and the chasm between them was bridged.
Jesus called Him Father again. It was a tender moment between a loving daddy and a dying son as the Son of God laid His life down.