Summary: A summary of how the gospel is presented in the seven sayings Christ uttered from the Cross.
a. Learning how to listen for and hear God, understanding His instructions for and to us, and learning how to apply them in our lives is not unlike learning a craft or a skill and honing from apprentice to journeyman to master level.
(1) It requires a desire to never be satisfied with your best to date.
(2) It requires a determination to always excel, always competing with yourself.
(3) And, it requires focus. Not giving your study and time with Christ the depth it requires, just might cause you to miss a pearl He has prepared just for you.
b. Opening Illustration:
Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A sign on the receptionist’s counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office.
The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in. Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They talked among themselves that they hadn’t heard any summons yet. They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified.
Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, “Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled.”
The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, “Wait a minute, I don’t understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!”
The employer said, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.’ None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his.” (courtesy of Kent Kessler, Profound Ministries taken from www.sermoncentral.com)
c. Today I want to begin a series based on a topic that is usually reserved for Good Friday devotionals, the last seven things Christ said from the cross.
(1) Because they are not recorded in one gospel, we don’t know the exact order in which they were spoken.
(2) But, we can see in them an obvious progression of God’s will and purpose for the mankind’s redemption. They like a Reader’s Digest extremely abridged version of gospel.
(3) They are significant because even in the pain and suffering of His physical death, He was still focused on us and was still the consummate teacher.