The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross

The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross

Author: Pastor H. Bill Coker
April 02, 2021

Reflection:

“On the cross of Calvary, Jesus died for you and me;
There He shed His precious blood, that from sin we might be free.
O the cleansing stream does flow, and it washes white as snow!
It was for me that Jesus died, on the cross of Calvary.”

The First Word: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34)

A Word of Forgiveness 

 

Shortly after Jesus was nailed to the cross, He offered this prayer, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing". He could have been consumed with his own pain and misery, instead He asked the Father to forgive those responsible for causing Him great affliction—Those who were nailing Him to the Cross; those who ridiculed Him and those who ignorantly subscribe to the way of sin.
When we are deeply hurt and betrayed by others, let us follow in the footsteps of Jesus and offer genuine forgiveness. Free yourself from the bondage of unforgiveness. Remember that those who hurt you are also sons or daughters of God. Pray that they too will have a personal revelation of Christ’s forgiveness, that they too will walk in the way of the Lord. Forgive them as Christ Jesus forgave you!


The Second Word: "I tell you the truth today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43)

A Word of Hope

 

One of the criminals who hung next to Jesus spewed insults at him: “Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” This criminal only wanted to escape his own agony. He had no desire to know Jesus as His Savior and Lord. He had no desire to repent of his sins. The other criminal came to himself and believed on Jesus, even though he too, had mocked Jesus earlier. Now he rebukes the other criminal and made a request of Jesus. He said, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:42). Jesus replied by offering him hope for the future: "I tell you the truth today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). Let us embrace a kingdom perspective when we too are suffering. Let us realize that Jesus is our only hope—The very hope that is anchored beyond the veil, even in Christ Jesus, who secures all things. Let us encourage others with this very hope that Jesus affords us, especially in the tough seasons of life.

The Third Word: “He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!' Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother!'” (John 19:26-27)

A Word of Care

 

Mary, the mother of Jesus had four other sons - James, Joses, Simon and Judas (Not Iscariot). The most probable thing for them to do is to physically care for Mary their mother. The Evangelist John in his Gospel says: “For neither did His brethren believe in Him” (John 7:5). The Apostle Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 15:7 that He appeared to His brother James after His resurrection and this is probably when he and his brothers began to believe as they are with Mary and the Apostles in Acts 1:14, a time when Matthias was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. James became the Leader of the Jerusalem Church while Judas or Jude later wrote the Epistle of Jude. Jesus identified John as the one who would provide physical care for Mary. Whether it was a physical or perhaps a spiritual need that was not being met Jesus saw to it that His disciple John would take care of His mother. Notice that Jesus turned His focus away from His own agony to attend to the care of His mother. Realize that we share in Christ’s suffering, says the Apostle Peter (1 Peter 4:12). Enduring suffering with Christ and recognizing the sufferings of others is a testimony of our faith and compassionate care for others. May the spirit of compassion and care flow through us as we care for others. This is our posture at Lent!


The Fourth Word: "'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' - which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"' (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).

A Word of Loneliness

 

Here we hear the cry of dereliction! Jesus cried out, "'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' - which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"' (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). For the first time, Jesus felt alone. He felt separated from that holy Union that is implied by the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all three are One. Sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2). Jesus was carrying the full extent and effect of sin for the world. The Apostle Paul perhaps referred to this moment when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” At this moment, the Father placed on Him the sins of humanity to be paid as He was about to die. Jesus had an intimate and vibrant relationship with God the Father. But the agony and fatigue of crucifixion, dulled that wonderful heavenly presence. Because Jesus is acquainted with our grief and sorrow, He could empathize with all of us when we feel separated from God because of our sins and guilt. If your loneliness is as a result of a life of sin, REPENT! That is your posture at Lent.


The Fifth Word: “I am thirsty” (John 19:28).
 
A Word of Suffering

 

Jesus is proclaimed as the Fountain of Life—the Fountain that sustains and quenches our thirsty souls. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” But now the Fountain thirsts! Was His thirst from the exhaustion in enduring and overcome the heat, pain, rejection, and loneliness? Or was that deep impulse that drives Him to thirst for souls? "Knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I am thirsty"' (John 19:28). Earlier in His passion, Jesus was offered the same drink which was mingled with gall. He refused it as recorded in Matthew 27:34. Why did He refuse it earlier but now takes the very drink at the moment of death? “The Word Bible Commentary” shares a note about the vinegar mixed with gall which served as a narcotic that dulls pain: “The narcotic drink would have helped deaden the pain, but Jesus refused it. He drank the cup of suffering instead.” Instead of reaching for a comforter He was prepared to take the difficult but necessary path to fulfill all prophecy. When He had fully drank of the cup of suffering, He then asked for a drink. May we thirst for Jesus as He thirsted for us. “As the deer pants for the water brook, so pants my soul for you O Lord.” (Psa. 42:1). This must be our passion at Lent. I THIRST!

 

The Sixth Word: “It is finished” (John 19:30).
 
A Word of Triumph

 

All things are now fulfilled! All things are now consummated and brought to perfection—Nothing else owed…All things are paid in full. Nothing can happen that can undo what Jesus had already accomplished on the Cross. The finished work of redemption on the cross fulfilled the righteous requirements. He became the propitiation—that which appeased the wrath of God. He was the Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the world. At the ninth hour (3:00PM), the Lamb of God hanging from the Cross cries out, “IT IS FINISHED!” All things are paid in full. He endured the agony, so that we are redeemed. Whatever brought fear, is now gone. Whatever brought sickness and disease is conquered on the cross. Whatever prevented us has been removed. The veil was ripped or torn from top to bottom. It is finished. We have gained access. Jesus set mind on the work He came to do. He finished and He triumphantly announced, for all to hear, "It is finished." Run well the race that is set before you. Finish well your course, and the Father will say to you, WELL DONE! That is our triumph at Lent!

 

The Seventh Word: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46)


A Word of Reunion

When our work on earth is done, we must go home! Jesus after completing His work, looked forward to fully reunite with His Father. Work while it is day, for the night will come when no man can work. Work while you have an opportunity because the days are coming when all opportunity will cease. Look for opportunities to serve the Lord as you serve His people. Whatever you do to the least of these, you have done unto Me. Jesus endured all things and fulfilled all things. The Cross stands as the emblem of our salvation. Jesus was victorious over the cross and the grave and has ascended into heaven, sitting at the Right Hand of the Father, from there He will come again to receive us unto Himself, that where He is, there we will be also. And after crying out again with a loud voice, Jesus yielded up His spirit.”

Conclusion

 
On Good Friday, Jesus did something good for us. He did what we would never be able to do. He took upon Himself the fullness of sin so that we can have life. The Apostle Paul says that Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world, who knew no sin, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. In other words, He took what we had (SIN) and gave us what He had (LIFE).
As you reflect on these last seven Words of our Lord and Savior on the cross, I pray that you will be drawn closer to Him and receive a personal revelation of His love for you—AGAPE—that unconditional love that loves us when we cannot love ourselves and others.
It was not the nails that held Him on the cross, but AGAPE—Unconditional love. He had you in mind as He suffered the agonizing death. That is why He stayed on the cross. He did not come down from the cross to save Himself. He decided to stay on the cross, just to save you and me. May the Passion of the Christ, cause you to grow with a passion for more of Him.

IT IS FRIDAY… BUT SUNDAY IS COMING!


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