…into your hands I commit my spirit Luke 23.46
The argument that Paul makes throughout the New Testament is that in some mysterious, but real way, Christ represented us on the cross. This is why he writes in Romans 6.8, we died with Christ or again in Gal.2, I have been crucified with Christ. Not only did Jesus substitute himself but he represented us as well. A substitute takes someone place, but a representative binds those he represents to the actions he takes.
As our representative Christ binds us to what transpires at the cross. He is our substitute because he took on himself the penalty we deserve for our sin. But he is also our representative, binding us to his actions, making his actions our own. As Christ commits his soul to God, he represents all of us.
Let us remember that it was not in reference to himself alone that Christ committed his soul to the Father, but that he included, as it were, in one bundle, all the souls of those who believe in him, that they may be preserved along with his own… John Calvin
What we so often refuse to say, refuse to do, Jesus says and does for us. You and I cannot fully or completely resign ourselves or commit ourselves to God. Our nature is to resign ourselves from Him. We want to quit God. But Jesus represents us to God as we need to be represented, and so, in a way, makes heroes of us all. Into your hands I commit my spirit. Gathering us all “in one bundle,” Jesus makes the commitment to God for us that we cannot make for ourselves. Into God’s hands, he commits all who believe. He will deliver your soul safely into God’s hands, justified, free from punishment, safe from Satan and every sorrow. No matter what you have done, God will listen to him on your account. Even at our death we can look to him, as Stephen does in Acts 7.59 and say to him, Lord Jesus receive my spirit! Christ’s affliction began and ended with holy resignation. In the beginning he yielded his will, in the end he yielded his Spirit. So should all our afflictions be marked with the resignation of our will to the will of God in Christ and so all our afflictions will end with the resignation of our soul to God’s hands. The more frequently we do this while we live, the more easily we will do this when we die.