Summary: The seven utterances of Jesus from the cross reveal God’s answer to our basic needs. The words which Jesus uttered on the Cross are worthy of special consideration because of who uttered them, where they were uttered, why they were spoken, and what they mean.
Good Friday marks the crucifixion and dying of Christ. On this day, Christians around the world remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for their sins. It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith (Romans 6:5)."
Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3). Good Friday marks the day when wrath and mercy met at the cross. Jesus endured the cross, knowing it led to his resurrection, our salvation, and the beginning of God’s reign of righteousness and peace. The Cross of Christ is God’s final word as to the character and consequence of human sin, and of the wonder and sacrifice of divine love.
God incarnate suffered and died on the cross as a propitiation for the sins of all mankind. Jesus went to the Cross so that we, through his death and resurrection might have a personal relationship with God and that we might know its power in every area of our lives. The Cross is the place "to where heaven’s love and heaven’s justice meet". Twenty centuries have passed since the Crucifixion Day, yet the Bible account enables us to visualize the event with a great deal of accuracy. Jesus faced the cup of God’s wrath upon sin on that cross. It is unbelievable to consider all that He endured in those 18 hours. The physical suffering was horrific but the spiritual war within the three hours of darkness is something we cannot comprehend.
Jesus spoke seven times during the closing moments on the Cross. Before the darkness descended on the scene, Jesus spoke three times. During the darkness, He spoke once. And after the darkness had passed, He uttered three more sentences of love. The seven utterances of Jesus from the cross reveal God’s answer to our basic needs. The words which Jesus uttered on the Cross are worthy of special consideration because of who uttered them, where they were uttered, why they were spoken, and what they mean. They are precious because they are deep expressions of the Eternal son of God in His time of terrible agony in those moments when He actually paid the price of our redemption.
Every statement from the Lord Jesus bears timeless significance and these seven words are taken from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Holy Bible, but assembled into what was probably their chronological order according to a simple harmony of the gospel accounts of the Crucifixion: they reveal his divinity as well as his humanity and demonstrate that Jesus was consistent in His life and in His message until the end. Let us briefly reflect on the seven last words of Jesus.
1. "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
2. "This day you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43)
3. "Woman, behold your son." (John 19:26-27)
5. "I thirst." (John 19:28)
6. "It is finished." (John 19:30)
7. "Into your hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46)
REFLECTIONS AND MEDITATIONS ON THE LAST WORDS OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS
1. Jesus Speaks to the Father- Luke 23:34
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."
In the midst of his excruciating suffering, the heart of Jesus was focused on others rather than himself. Here we see the nature of God’s agape love—unconditional, selfless, redemptive, sacrificial, steadfast and serving love. It makes sense that the first word of Jesus from the cross is a word of forgiveness. That’s the point of the cross, after all. Jesus is dying so that we might be forgiven for our sins; so that we might be reconciled to God for eternity. Because Christ died on the cross for us, we are cleansed from all wickedness, from every last sin. The timing of this suggests that Jesus asked his Father to primarily forgive the soldiers who have whipped and scourged him, mocked him, tortured him, and who have just nailed Him to the Cross.
But, scholars have asked. Could this not also apply to each one of us who committed sin against God , His apostles and the latter’s companions who have deserted Him, to Peter who has denied Him three times, to the religious and fickle –minded crowd, who only days before praised Him on His entrance to Jerusalem, and then days later chose Him over Barabbas to be crucified?