Seven Words from the Cross are statements that JESUS made during six agonizing hours of HIS crucifixion. Being made during the central act of redemption gives these words great weight and significance. No single Gospel records all seven sayings but fit the remarks into a commonly accepted order.
JESUS’ first three remarks were made between 9:00 a.m. and noon (March 15:25). First, HE asked forgiveness for those who crucified HIM –“ FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING” (Luke 23:34). On the cross JESUS made forgiveness possible not only for those involved in HIS crucifixion, but also for all who would put their trust in HIM. Second, JESUS promised the penitent thief he would meet the LORD in paradise that very day – “I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE” (Luke 23:43), giving us insight into what happens following believers’ deaths. Third, JESUS made provision for the care of HIS mother by John – “DEAR WOMAN, HERE IS YOUR SON”, AND TO THE DISCIPLE, “HERE IS YOUR MOTHER” (John 19:25-26).
JESUS’ last four statements were spoken between noon and 3:00 p.m., the final hours before HIS death (Matt. 27:45). HIS fourth statement was a cry of isolation, quoting from Psalm 22:1 ‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” This statement arose not so much from HIS own physical pain, but the anguish of solitarily taking upon HIMSELF the sin of the world. HIS physical agony is expressed in the fifth statement, when JESUS acknowledged the thirst – “I AM THIRSTY” (John 19:28). After being given a sour drink, JESUS made HIS sixth statement, “IT IS FINISHED” (John 19:30), a cry of victory, not defeat. JESUS was not finished, but redemption was complete. In HIS final words JESUS quoted Psalm 3l:5 – “INTO YOUR HANDS, I COMMIT MY SPIRIT”, as HE committed HIS spirit to GOD (Luke 23:46). When HE had said this, he breathed HIS last.
Thank you Julia for sharing your Bible study’s discussion with us
* We will be writing about what inspires us from each consecutive chapter of Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. If you read along with us, please share your inspirations. There’s no need to catch up, just jump right in.