We have a glorious example for this duty and exercise of faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ died in the exercise of it. It was the last act of faith Christ put forth in this world, Luke 23:46, “When Jesus had cried with a loud voice” (this was the voice of nature, but now he comes to the words of faith), ” he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (my departing soul): “and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” Here was the last exercise of the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ in this world,—the committing of his departing soul into the hands of God. And to what end did he do it? We are told, Ps. 16:8-11,
“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
These are the words of David, which our Lord Jesus Christ made use of himself, when he said, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.” And the psalmist adds, “Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth,” Ps. 31:5. An experience of the work of redemption, communicated to us by the truth of the promise, is the greatest encouragement to commend a departing soul into the hands of God. This, to me now (considering the vanishing of all these shadows and appearances, and the eternal dissolution of all relation to things below, and the subsisting of a soul in a separate condition, which we are not acquainted withal), is one of the first things we have to consider, if we will die cheerfully and comfortably,—namely, how we can resign a departing soul into the hand and sovereign disposal of God.
It is both a great and eminent act of faith, and is the last victorious act of faith
– John Owen –
from a sermon on The Christian’s Work of Dying Daily, volume 9 of Works, page 339