All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” He said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need?” We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!”
Luke 22: 70-71
Divine Sonship is the theme that runs throughout the baptism and temptation stories. When Jesus was brought in front of the Chief Priests and scribes they demanded to know if he was the Son of God. He did not deny it, yet again, neither did he confirm it, rather he said, “you say that I am.” This was all they needed to hear, Jesus had to die, the religious leaders had looked for an excuse to kill him for a long time and now they had their proof. Jesus had committed blasphemy.
As we meditate upon the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, his cruel and humiliating death, we realise that every day of his life had built towards this moment; his whole life had been a sacrifice of his will. His obedience to the will of the Father had led to the point where he sacrificed his life unto death, even death on the cross.
Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.
Luke 23: 46
Jesus’ last words were words of submission. It was Matthew who recalled the words of the Roman centurion and those who were close by who watched Jesus die. They said, “Surely this man was the Son of God.”
Throughout history, Christ’s disciples have claimed that Jesus is the Son of God. But that confession leads us to live in a certain way, to practice radical self denial on a daily basis.
Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Luke 9: 23
In the wilderness, Jesus showed us that to live for God means that we literally have to die to our own will every single day and choose to live according to the will of God. But dying in this way is not defeat. As the temptation narrative shows us, being obedient to God’s will is the path of true resistance! “Into your hands” is the prayer that we are called to pray, it is the prayer of the one who trusts God the Father in all matters of life and death. It was the prayer of Jesus and it must be ours too.
Jesus, you gave your life on a Roman cross.
You submitted your life completely to the Father’s will.
This is difficult for us to understand because very often we cannot bring ourselves to give ourselves in quite the same way.
Yet, this is what God the Father requires of his children, total obedience.
And so we ask for strength and courage to die today and everyday.
Into his hands we surrender everything, for he is good.