Seven Last Words
THE FIRST WORD:
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:24.
The first word from the cross is not about the pain of the cruel nails, nor about the humiliation of an accursed death, nor of the injustice which He has suffered, but it is a prayer for those who have crucified the Lord of Life, the very Son of God, the One who had no sin. Truly they knew not what they did.
THE SECOND WORD:
“Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” Luke 23:43.
Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost. He had spent His life seeking and saving. Even now at the hour of His death He answers the appeal of the thief on the nearby cross who cries, “Lord, Remember me!” Jesus remembers him not with relief from his cross, but with something far greater: Paradise! That day! What salvation! for a thief? Yes, for everyone who comes to the Saviour.
THE THIRD WORD:
“Woman, behold thy son. . ., behold thy mother.” John 19:26,27.
Human relationships are tender. And when Jesus saw His mother Mary at the foot of the cross, He made provision for her. Turning to John, He instructs him to care for her. So it is yet today. Although the affairs of nations and the thoughts of rulers are in His control, He has His eye on the sparrow - and on your smallest needs.
THE FOURTH WORD:
“My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46.
Death is separation. Eternal death is eternal separation from God in the awfulness of hell. The agonies of hell were suffered by our Substitute when He was forsaken by God so that we would never be forsaken. This suffering no person has ever endured. All physical and mental suffering fades in comparison to separation from God, His God. Those who refuse HIm shall eternally have to bear the same punishment.
THE FIFTH WORD:
“I thirst.” John 19:28.
The suffering Saviour was human as well as divine. Truly human. He had assumed our human nature at His birth in order that the penalty due the human race might be borne by a member of it. The intense agony of thirst indicated the reality of the suffering of His body. That God should become man is a mystery. That our sin and guilt can be laid on Him is a mystery. But we believe and are saved!
THE SIXTH WORD:
“It is finished.” John 19:30.
The just anger of the Triune God had been laid upon Jesus throughout His entire life, but especially during the closing hours of His life. Now this fearful suffering was finished. The price has been paid. Man’s salvation had been earned. Sin is blotted out. Reconciliation is complete. Everlasting righteousness is brought in. Hallelujah!
THE SEVENTH WORD:
“Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit.” Luke 23:46.
Death did not overtake Jesus. Rather, the Saviour offers His life. The wages of sin is death, and the wages must be paid because our Sin-bearer had come to live our life and die our death. Boldly Jesus engages this enemy of man - knowing that He will conquer it and rise the third day.
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Thousands passed by while Jesus hung on the cross and ridiculed Him. Millions have since heard these Words, but have passed by in unbelief. But your salvation is possible only if the Son of God hung on the cross for your sins. Listen to these WORDS. Accept this crucified and risen Saviour as your Substitute. Believe and live!