Summary: Cries From The Cross - The Word of Forgiveness (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Luke chapter 23 verse 34.
On the day that Karl Marx died, March 14, 1883:
• His housekeeper came to him and said,
• "Tell me your last words, and I'll write them down."
• Marx replied, "Go on, get out!
• Last words are for fools who haven't said enough!"
Last words can be very revealing.
• Showman P. T. Barnum said, as he was dying, "What were today's receipts?"
• Elizabeth 1st; "All my possessions for a moment of time!"
• The great Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, said as his last words, "Jesus died for me."
• And John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, said, "The best of all is, God is with us."
IN THIS NEW SERIES OF STUDIES:
• We are considering the seven statements of Jesus from the cross:
• These statements are very important to us:
• Not only because of the Person who spoke them;
• But, also because of the place where they were said.
• Remember the context that these great words were spoken in;
• It was when our Jesus was doing His greatest work on earth,
“These seven last words from the cross are windows that enable us to look into eternity and see the heart of God.”
The first of these seven statements is found in Luke chapter 23 verses 32-34:
32”Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots”.
(1). Completion - The Fulfilment OF prophecy.
Over the Christmas period:
• We thought about or had quoted to us many Old Testament prophecies;
• Concerning the first advent, the coming into the world of Jesus Christ.
• We reminded ourselves of the prophecy of Isaiah;
• When he predicted a unique sign; “Behold a virgin will conceive”.
• And those verses were of course fulfilled 700 years later:
• When the angel announced to Mary the uniqueness of her conception.
• Again 700 years before the birth of Jesus there lived a man called Micah;
• He too prophesised in his book in the Old Testament.
• Telling us the very place where the baby would be born;
• Quote: Micah chapter 5 verse 2: ”Bethlehem Ephrathah”.
• Which means; ‘belonging to the tribe of Judah’.
• This is to distinguish it from the other Bethlehem which was in Galilee in the North,
• In the territory of Zebulon (12km from Nazareth).
Isaiah in his book made a number of prophecies:
• Concerning the whole person of Christ;
• Baby, Man and the eternal king, who will one day return to earth to reign.
• Perhaps the most well loved among Christians;
• Is found in chapter 53 of his prophetic book;
• A chapter Dr Kyle M. Yates referred to as;
• “The Mount Everest of messianic prophecy”.
• Because like Mount Everest that chapter stands out in beauty and grandeur;
• It is a chapter that pictures for us Jesus Christ and his death on a cross.
• Now remember this is a picture of the cross;
• 700 years before the Romans brought crucifixion came to this part of the world.
In the chapter Isaiah tells us at least ten things about the humiliation and suffering of the Messiah:
• (1). He informs us that He (the victim - Jesus) should be despised and rejected of men;
• (2). That He would be a Man of sorrows and familiar with suffering;
• (3). That He would be wounded, bruised and punished;
• (4). That He would be led to be slaughtered and that he would not resist.
• (5). That like a sheep before its sharers,
• He would remain silent,
• (6). That He would not only suffer at the hands of man;
• But He would also be stricken, smitten and afflicted by God;
• (7). That He would pour out His soul unto death;
• (8). That He would be buried in a rich man's tomb;
• (9). And then we come to our key phrase this morning (verse 12b):
• “That He would be numbered with transgressors”;
• (10). And finally (verse 12c):
• “That He should make intercession for the transgressors”.
That prophecy (Isaiah chapter 53 verse 12):
• Was fulfilled in Luke chapter 23 verses 32-34:
• "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
• Remember the context; as Jesus was experiencing the incredible agony of crucifixion;
• Ill: We get our word ‘excruciating’ meaning ‘exceedingly painful’ from that word.