As we think about the glorious resurrection of Christ, it is very important that we also recall His suffering and His death that led to His burial and later resurrection. The gospel message is a message that includes all three His death, burial, resurrection and its proofs. (1 Cor 15:1-9).
As our Lord was being crucified, He uttered 7 sayings that teach us a summary of His accomplishments while on the cross. These seven sayings, when taken in the context of His crucifixion, reveal to us a loving, sinless, sovereign God who was willing to give all for the sake of those He loved…
Luke 23:34 (KJV)
34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Luke 23:43 (KJV)
43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
John 19:26-27 (KJV)
26) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].
Matt 27:46 (KJV)
46) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
John 19:28 (KJV)
28) After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
John 19:30 (KJV)
30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Luke 23:46 (KJV)
46) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Matt 27:50 (KJV)
50) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
The Voice Of Forgiveness…. Luke 23:34 (KJV) – Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
Here, we find our Lord making a plea motivated by His love for those who were mocking, physically abusing and murdering Him.
Not only was His love on display as He uttered these words, but also the purpose of His death on the cross is being revealed as well. One of the great motives that drove the Son of God to submission to the sufferings of the cross was FORGIVENESS. You see, without a substitutionary sacrifice being made on the cross, God cannot forgive the sins of His people. Christ was issuing his plea for forgiveness in view of His coming death on the cross. He was determined to finish the work that His Father had given Him to do.
The Voice Of Promise …. Luke 23:43 (KJV) – 43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Here, we see the Lord’s promise to one of the thieves that was being crucified with Him. His promise was that very soon both He and the thief would be together in heaven. Following the death of Christ, His spirit would ascend to heaven while His body would remain in the grave for three days and three nights. Because the thief had placed His faith in Jesus as the sinless Messiah (Luke 23:39-42) he, too, would experience heaven with Jesus.
The Voice of Responsibility – John 19:26-27 (KJV) – When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].
In New Testament times, following the death of the father, the oldest male son was normally given the responsibility to care and provide for his widowed mother. Following the death of Joseph, Mary’s care had become the responsibility of Christ. As Christ was hanging on the cross, with death only hours away, Christ made sure that His mother would be taken care of. He looked to His closest friend, John, to take that responsibility upon himself.
Not only was Christ faithful in His responsibility to His mother, Mary. He was also faithful to the responsibility that His Heavenly Father had placed upon Him. In John 17:1-10, we find Christ praying to the Father before His arrest, trial and crucifixion. In this prayer, Christ makes the statement… “ I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Christ, by making this statement, was proclaiming His determination to follow the will of His Father even to His death on the cross.
The Voice of Separation – Matt 27:46 (KJV) – And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
The phrase “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” – is a Hebrew phrase quoted from Psalm 22:1. This phrase in the Psalm was uttered by King David during a time of great distress in his life. As he was praying to God for aid, there appeared to be no response. This does not break David’s faith, but by the end of the Psalm, David recognizes God’s ability to intervene and deliver him IF it is God’s will for David’s life.
Likewise with Christ, as He is hanging on the cross it seemed as if God the Father was refusing to come to His aid. But just as with David, Christ is determined to follow His Father’s will for his life even to the death.
Also, it is very important to recognize when Christ uttered these words. According to the Matthew account, Christ uttered these words immediately after a three hour period of darkness (Matt 27:45). This period of darkness is thought, by many, to be the time frame when Christ had the sins of His people placed upon Him as He paid the price for these sins.
If this is the case, then as Christ proclaimed “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me”, He is perhaps, speaking of the loss of communion with the Father as He bare the sins of His people upon Himself. Our sins, when placed upon Christ, would have caused a rupture of communion that Christ had experienced with the Father. The Father cannot look upon sin, nor can he have communion with those who have sin in their life.
The Voice of Humanity – John 19:28 (KJV) - After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
As Christ hung on the cross, He experienced the human fleshly desire of thirst. This helps us to understand that, although Christ was God, He was also truly of human flesh and would suffer as any human would suffer. I have heard of those who try to minimize the sufferings of Christ on the cross by saying that “Because Jesus was God, He did not feel the pain and distress a human being would feel.” THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE. He, as a human being with a fleshly body experienced the need for water, food, rest and while on the cross most certainly felt pain and suffering just as any other human being.
The Voice of Completion – John 19:30 (KJV) – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
The word for “finish” here in Greek means to “to complete. To fulfill, to execute a command” In other words, as His death was drawing near, so to was the fulfill of His Father’s will for His life. He had fulfilled God’s will perfectly by paying the sin debt for His Father’s people. Out of a heart of love for His Father and His people, He had perfectly followed His Father’s will for His life. (Philp 2:5-11)
The Voice of Security – Luke 23:46 (KJV) - And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
“Commend” in Greek means “to deposit to another’s trust”. As the Lord took His final breaths, He handed His spirit over to His Father knowing that His Father would secure His entrance into heaven.
Also, please note the Jesus was in control of His own death. He handed over His spirit to the Father, He was the one that gave up His own spirit (ghost). He had the power to lay down His life and to raise it again. (John 10:17-18)
For those who have been given the Lord’s saving grace…
We are told in Philippians 2:5-11- “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.“
We, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, are to strive to think as He thought. We are to share the same mindset as He displayed in His seven sayings. Our goal should be to possess a mindset that has a…
Willingness to forgive and pray for the salvation of those who have wronged us.
- Willingness to speak to others about our Lord and share with them the gospel message.
Willingness to accept the responsibility for service in the areas to which we are called of God to serve.
- Willingness to be honest about the sin that is in our life; the communion we are lacking because of that sin; and deal with that sin through confession and repentance.
Willingness to recognize the weakness of our sinful flesh, and seek to guard against Satan working in those areas of our life.
- Willingness to follow the Lord to completion of our appointed ministry. Motivated by a recognition of all He has done for us…even if we are called upon to give our life for Him.
- Willingness to trust the Lord with our future eternity. We can do this by keeping our eyes on His promises of heaven and future rewards, using these precious promises as a motivation to continue to serve Him.
For those who have yet to be given His saving grace…
After reading of the Lord’s attitude towards those who abused and mistreated Him to the ultimate degree, you can rest assured that the Lord will accept anyone who turns from their sin and comes to Him in faith…
John 6:37-38 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
By turning from sin to submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find forgiveness, peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. May the Lord use His Word to bring you to a saving knowledge of Him.
If you have any further questions about the salvation that our Lord so graciously gives, please feel free to read my blog page… “How to have a relationship with God”. Also, you are welcome to contact me via a blog comment or email for any further questions you may have.
May the Lord bless you.
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