Summary: The wrenching words of Jesus ushered forth from his lips while his sacrificial blood splashed on the ground. While his body is in excruciating pain and his tongue is tormented in thirst – Jesus cries out from those parched lips and says “FATHER FORGIVE
A SHOUT FROM THE CROSS
The last word’s of a dying person are normally never forgotten. I have witnessed some pour out their hearts to God while others linger off into eternity quietly. Usually the last words of a dying person conveys their innermost thoughts, values, priority and desires.
Right before P.T. Barnum died, he asked, “How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden”
Humphrey Bogart’s last words were, “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.”
President Grover Cleveland, “I have tried hard to do the right.”
Joan Crawford was filled with anger when her maid began to pray out loud and said, “Don’t you dare ask God to help me!”
Leonardo da Vinci, when surveying his life’s work, said, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”
Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary, cried, “Don’t let it end like this”
Karl Marx turned to his housekeeper, who had urged him to tell her his last words so she could write them down, and shouted, “Go on, and get out. Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”
The shout from the cross comes from one whose every action was filled with meaning and purpose. Not only do we have the teaching of Jesus while he lived, we have his final thoughts while he hung on a cross suspended between two thieves.
The wrenching words of Jesus ushered forth from his lips while his sacrificial blood splashed on the ground. While his body is in excruciating pain and his tongue is tormented in thirst – Jesus cries out from those parched lips and says “FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING” (LUKE 23:34)
I. A BRIEF LOOK AT JESUS LAST HOURS.
Following the last supper, Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. He poured out his distress to the Father as He went through a deep spiritual struggle.
Luke 22:44: “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” An angel appeared at this point and gave Jesus strength (verse 43).
Jesus was then arrested and faced a trial somtime after midnight. He was led away with His hands bound, the same hands that had healed the sick. Luke 22:63 tells us that Jesus was blindfolded and beaten while the soldiers mocked Him. He then faced a second trial with more illegal proceedings.
Jesus is now exhausted by lack of sleep, abuse, loss of fluids, and ridicule.
Pilate has Jesus scourged. Roman law allowed the prisoner to be beaten to the point of death. These whips had a small piece of metal attached to the end and would chip and gouge out pieces of bone and tissue. His skin would be stripped into long, ribbon-like segments, causing profound arterial bleeding.
A crown of six-inch long thorns was then pressed deeply into His scalp. This would cause additional blood loss, which would deepen His state of shock. A purple robe was thrown across Jesus’ shoulders and back. The mockery continues by the soldiers as they spit on Him and beat Him with reeds and hail Him as“King of the Jews.”
Pilate then presents Jesus to the crowd wearing his thorns and robe,and says, “Here is the man” Pilate now succumbs to the manipulation of the Jewish leaders, and Jesus is condemned to death by crucifixion. The purple robe is stripped away. Jesus is given the crossbeam to bear to the place of the skull, Golgotha. Luke 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him, along with the criminals one on His right, the other on the left
Listen to how a pastor captures the intensity of the moment when he writes from the perspective of those in charge of the crucifixion: “Now walking, now crawling, each step an agony to behold…He’s been beaten to an inch of his life. His back is in shreds. His face is disfigured and puffy where they’ve ripped out the beard by the roots. On his head is a crown of thorns…the soldiers don’t mind getting a person who is almost dead because it means that their work would be easier…they drive the construction-grade spikes into both wrists and then another one through his legs. With the ropes in place they begin to pull the cross up. Jesus now spurts blood from His raw wounds” (Ray Pritchard, “In the Shadow of the Cross,” 2001, Pages 10-11).
He no doubt experienced severe muscular pain in his upper extremities that only got worse as his joints separated. He could draw air into his lungs but could not easily exhale. As carbon dioxide accumulated, progressive degrees of asphyxiation would occur and a build up of lactic acid would create violent muscle spasms throughout His body. In order to take a breath, Jesus would have to push up on the nail in his feet, forcing an up and down motion as the open lacerations on his back would scrape against the rough timber of the cross.