By Trevor St. Aubin: "Into Your Hands"
For this year's Holy Week, we've had Soma artists create meditations based on Jesus' "Seven Last Words" - seven statements the Bible records Jesus saying during his crucifixion.
Lent is all about being reminded of the human condition. We feel pain, and one day we are going to die. From dust we came and from dust we shall return. Suffering is inevitable.
For the believer, our suffering serves a higher purpose. It is for our good and the glory of God. If our suffering is for the glory of God, we should rejoice because the glory of God is the all-encompassing richness of who God is, and because of Christ we have been brought into that forever.
"And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." Ephesians 1:22-23
Jesus was about one thing: glorifying his father. All through the New Testament, we see him bringing glory to God. Even as he hung humiliated on a tree gasping for breath, he used his last words to give God the ultimate glory: his life. Those final words teach us everything we need to know about suffering. This is God's story, not ours.
In this song, I compare my own personal "sufferings" with Christ's (I put my sufferings in quotations because I fully understand that my own experiences come nowhere close to what Christ went through. Mine are like a spoiled prom king who spilled sparkling grape juice on his pearly white tux: in other words, not a big deal). In the midst of suffering, I don't understand why it is happening. I just feel everything so deeply. It is a struggle.
I'm struck by how even Jesus struggled with God's plan. He was in the garden sweating blood, asking God to take the cup from him.
But Jesus finishes his struggle with, "not my will, but yours be done." The chorus is about submission. "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit".
Jesus modeled it perfectly. He was equal with God, but didn't even consider himself on the same level. It was all about the Father's glory.
The humility of Christ is something I will never understand.
I thank God for Jesus. I thank God for suffering (even though it is awful). I thank God that this is his story not mine (even though it is impossibly hard).
It is my hope that we as a church learn how to suffer well and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Trevor's piece is inspired by the Word "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
Image: "The Entombment," by Peter Paul Rubens