Summary: Series on the Last words of Jesus on the Cross
In the Father’s Hands – Luke 23:44-49
Gladstone Baptist Church – 6/4/07 am
1. Final Words are profound
As a person lies on their death bed, their final words have a real sense of significance. Friends linger, hoping to catch the final words. Last words actually tell us a lot about that person.
Here are some last words of some famous people …
“How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?” ~ P. T. Barnum, entrepreneur, d. 1891
Friends applaud, the comedy is finished. ~ Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, d. March 26, 1827
“I am still alive!” Stabbed to death by his own guards - (as reported by Roman historian Tacitus) ~ Gaius Caligula, Roman Emperor, d.41 AD
“I’m bored with it all.” - Before slipping into a coma. He died 9 days later.~ Winston Churchill, statesman, d. January 24, 1965
“Put out the light”. ~ Theodore Roosevelt, US President, d. 1919
“Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.” ~ Oscar Wilde, writer, d. November 30, 1900
“I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.” ~ Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, d.1170
2. Recap of Jesus’ 6 previous words from the cross
Over the last couple of weeks, you have been looking at the last words of Jesus from the Cross. Jesus spoke 7 times from the cross. And each in its own right was a fulfilment of prophecy.
1) There was a word of forgiveness … (Lk 23:34) “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” - Jesus even in death was concerned for his enemies. He turned the other check and prayed for those who persecuted him. This is a fulfillment of Is 53:12 which says … “he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
2) There was a word of Salvation … (Lk 23:43) “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus’ whole mission was to seek and save those who were lost and around the cross that day were many who were lost. He welcomed that day one sinner who asked for salvation – one who was also in the midst of being executed. Jesus came to save – that is what was prophesied about him in Matt 1:21 when the angel said “you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
3) The third word was a word of Affection. (Jn 19:26-27) he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” Jesus was always thinking about others and as Paul said, he was in this statement building a community based on love. Mary must have been crushed to see her only son killed in this way. It was a fulfilment of Simeon’s prophecy in Luke 2:35. But Jesus here provides support and a family for his mother with one of his final words.
4) the fourth word was a word of Anguish. (Matt 27:46 and Ps 22) “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus has been under the wrath of God for 3 hours when Jesus uttered this cry. All the sins of mankind are heaped on his shoulders and God has to turn away from his Son. Jesus had only ever known the closest communion with God, but now God unleashes his fiercest judgment on him. All the flogging and crucifixion pales into insignificance in Jesus’ mind when compared to this horrific reality of separation from his God, his Lord and his Father.