This is not about Sesame Street.

Today’s letter is “S”.  And it’s at the end – or not at the end – of the word hand.

What’s the difference – singular or plural?  You can easily see if there is one hand or two.  Count the number of hands, add the “s” if you get past one.

But what if these are not physical hands?  And what if the words are uttered by Israel’s greatest king, and by the savior of the world, and both recorded in an inerrant, infallible book?  What does it mean when they are not the same?

I’m going back to the same verses, Psalm 31:5 and Luke 23:46:


Into thine hand I commit my spirit
Into thy hands I commend my spirit


Into Your hand I commit my spirit
Into Your hands I commit my spirit

Young’s Literal Translation:

Into Thy hand I commit my spirit
To Thy hands I commit my spirit

A mistake?  A conspiracy by the translators?  An insignificant trifle?

What I see is a difference in meaning.  Putting something into someone’s hand is giving them control – asking someone to manage something for you.  David was giving God control of his life.  Putting something into someone’s hands is similar but stronger – taking your own hands off.  You don’t have control over the outcome.   In Psalms, David was acknowledging God as his Lord.  On the cross, Jesus was acknowledging God as His only hope.

Let’s look deeper.  David was alive when he wrote his words.  He could (and occasionally did) walk outside of God’s leading.  He had control over his own life and could make choices about it.  Jesus was dying.  These were His last words.  He had taken His hands off His own life and was going to a place He had never been – descending into hell.  David could (and always did) return to God.  Could Jesus take Himself out of hell, or did God the heavenly Father have to reach down and pull Him back up?  I don’t know the answer to that one.  I know that they were separated for those three days, but I don’t know the mechanism of Jesus’ return.  And don’t really need to.

But I know that Jesus trusted God the Father completely and absolutely – with His physical life, and with His eternal spirit.  We are called to follow Jesus Christ – we who are Christians.  How can we do less?