Summary: Each time He spoke, Jesus was telling us something significant about Himself and what was going on at the Cross.
Reflection on the 7 last words of Jesus
Jesus Christ is able to speak 7 different times while on the Cross and we have those words recorded in the Gospels. Each time He spoke, Jesus was telling us something significant about Himself and what was going on at the Cross.
Jesus speaks and says "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). 1 Corinthians 2:8 tells us that the people there did not really know what they were doing. The important thing that Jesus states is that forgiveness take place. You see, the Cross is all about forgiveness. The reason that Jesus was on the Cross was to provide a way for us to be forgiven. Jesus was the sacrifice. Jesus was and is the way. Jesus is telling us that the Cross is all about forgiveness.
Jesus speaks and says, "This day you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). Jesus is speaking to one of the two men who were crucified with Him. Jesus promises this man ‘paradise.’ What is that? Revelation 2:7 says, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God." The Cross is part of God’s plan to reconcile us to Himself. The Cross is the way that Jesus died for us to make way for us to enter Paradise with Him.
Jesus speaks and says, "Woman, behold your son . . ." (John 19:26-27). John 19:26 tells us that as Jesus is on the Cross that He looks down and sees His mother there. I can imagine His memory flowing to HIs growing up years and all the treasured memories He had of His mother. He wanted His mother cared for and charged John to care for her. John took her into his home. You see, Jesus was a human being. He had a mother that He loved and cared for. Jesus is One who walked the human life like we have and the Bible describes this in Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet was without sin."
is enduring more on the cross than anyone could see on the outside. On the outside His flesh was torn and beaten and flowing with blood. And on the inside, Jesus was taking on the sin of the world. For you see, Jesus was not only a human being, but He was God as well. The Bible tells us that Jesus was ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23). Jesus tells His disciples that, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ’Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves" (John 14:9-11). Jesus shows us that on the Cross He was God taking on the sin of the world for us. Jesus and God were One and yet, taking on sin did something to Jesus that we cannot imagine or even describe.
Jesus speaks and says, "I thirst" (John 19:28). We must not forget that the Cross is all about pain. The Cross was the worst form of punishment that Rome could use. Flesh hurt and tore. Muscles hurt. Lungs hurt. Blood flowed. No relief from anything. It was a slow way to die and Jesus was enduring this pain for us. Jesus is reminding us that "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Jesus paid it for us.
Jesus speaks and says, "It is finished" (John 19:30). We must ask the question... what exactly is Jesus finishing? I hope you realize that the Cross was not an accident or a fluke of history. Jesus on the Cross was not an afterthought of God, but the plan from the very beginning to reconcile us to Him. In the Garden of Eden, our relationship with God was broken and Jesus came to fix it. He did that on the Cross. God had prepared the way through Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and many others so that Jesus would come to this Cross and pay the penalty for us. Jesus was finishing the plan of salvation at the Cross.