NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP


Just before Good Friday, five-year-old Carter made an appointment to come see me. He and his brothers will pay particular attention to me when I’m playing guitar and singing for our worship services.



Grandma Betty brought him to my office for the express purpose of writing a song with me. He wanted to do this, so he brought a plastic bag with his microphone and a harmonica.

I asked him what we could write about and he wanted a song about when God goes to sleep. I told him that the Father never sleeps, but Jesus the Son had naps and went to sleep at night.

So, I asked what he could tell me about Jesus when he goes to sleep. Apparently, Jesus said his prayers and had good dreams. We wrote the song and recorded it on my phone with him accompanying on his harmonica. That was the best part of my week.

Carter and I discussed some important theological considerations. Jesus lived fully human so that five year olds could understand Jesus as their friend.

Perhaps the most profound act of submission is found in Jesus surrender to death on a cross. His Cross-life completed in His Cross-death.

The seven sayings from the Cross were recorded in the gospel accounts. One of these sayings speaks to His final resolve and submission to God.


Luke 23:
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.


Into your hands, I commit my spirit. This was a quote from Psalm 31.

This psalm was often used in Jewish evening prayer as one commended oneself into God's care during the night's sleep. As Jesus enters the sleep of death, he takes a similar step of faith. His last words are a commentary not only on his death but also on his life: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." From first to last, Jesus has lived to serve God. His life's creed on his lips, he dies. The psalm comments on the trust that Jesus places in God as he passes away. [1]

How about you? What will be the last words on your lips?

Circus mogul P.T. Barnum said, ‘How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?’[2]

Actress Joan Crawford to her housekeeper that had begun to pray aloud, ‘Damn it . . . Don't you dare ask God to help me.’

In the final words of Jesus, we find an evening prayer committing himself to God’s care until the new day comes. And with those words, he went to sleep.

What a beautiful way to live and die!






[1] The IVP New Testament Commentary Series

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