Summary: Jesus was no more himself than when He hung on the cross as the Savior of the world. The seven last sayings of Christ revealed seven ‘stained-glass vignettes’ of the God-man — on display forever in the annals of Christianity.
Jesus was no more himself than when He hung on the cross as the Savior of the world. The seven last sayings of Christ revealed seven ‘stained-glass vignettes’ of the God-man — on display forever in the annals of Christianity. Our view of Jesus would be incomplete had we not seen these very-different portraits of Messiah.
1- Forgiving Any Sin
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The sins of Judas, of Herod, of Pilate, of the Centurions, of Caiaphas and the Jews screaming ‘Crucify him!’ He didn’t miss a single sin – after all, He’s God. Yet he was willing, yeah eager, to forgive them. And not them only – but all sinners, from every sin. I love it that Jesus went straight to the Father. He didn’t call on the Judge, the Creator, the Almighty… no, just “Dad.” As He hung in my place, living as my substitute, He felt no authority to forgive; so for the first time, He pleaded to a higher power for the setting free of my sins.
2- Offering Salvation
What an odd thing for one who was being crucified to ask another in the same predicament for salvation – yet it happened. And in the moments of extreme agony, what was Christ’s desire? To reach out in love and make one more person ready for Heaven. “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” How amazing his love! What an example: in the midst of the worst death a person can experience, at the most pivotal moment in human history, Jesus is doing what He did best… loving the unloved and saving a sinner.
3- Forming a New Family
Most of his family and disciples hadn’t stuck around – but there were a few faithful. A few that cared about Jesus deeply. Just before His death, Christ wanted to make sure that, in His absence, these whom he loved wouldn’t be alone. “Woman, behold thy son. Behold thy mother!” It’s possible to be in a crowd, and yet very alone; so Jesus purposely made connections between his mother, Mary and the beloved disciple, John. He created a new relationship with Himself as the connector (common ground) – and that’s exactly what He’s been doing ever since. After spending his entire life making spiritual connections, Jesus’ last words reflect even more of what he was doing – building his eternal family.
4- Suffering Alone
He had known it was coming – the moment He had dreaded – the three agonizing hours of enduring sin. “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?” It was Immanuel’s orphan cry. This was indeed the cup of suffering he was praying against in the garden, yet while the sun turned dark, he would drink of its bitterness. He had never known its guilty unrest, He had never been affected by its poison – until now, for now He would taste of sin – all of sin (1 Cor. 5:21). He drank in the sins of… adultery, blasphemy, covetousness, drunkenness, extortion, fornication, greed, hatred, idolatry, jealousy, kidnapping, lying, murder, nakedness, oppression, pride, quarreling, rape, sodomy, terrorism, unforgiveness, violence, witchcraft, xxx, yielding to temptation, and zealouslessness.
5- Thirsty for More