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103 The Seven Last Words from the Cross

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

These seven last words of Jesus are probably not the most memorized words of Jesus and yet they give us tremendous insight into the very heart of God and reveal his amazing love for each of his children that exist on this earth. May your heart be encouraged as you listen.

103 The Seven Words from the Cross
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The Seven Words from the Cross

I give you my word does not mean one word but the words of a promise. While not biblical, the ten commandments are at times referred to as the ten words. These seven words are public, for God, angels, Romans and Jews to hear. Jesus is speaking for all to hear. Can you hear these seven words, personally? They are meant for you!

These statements 1. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” — Luke 23:34

2. “Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” — Luke 23:43 3. “Woman, behold thy Son.” — John 19:26 4. “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” — Mark 15:34 5. “I thirst.” — John 19:28 6. “It is finished.” — John 19:30 7. “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” — Luke 23:46

1. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” — Luke 23:34

Forgiveness is not earned by confession (1 John 1:8-10) but it is a gift of grace. Forgiveness is God’s loving response toward dysfunctional or sinful people who are destroying themselves (Matthew 9:2, 23:37-39, Luke 23:34, 43, John 3:17, 8:11, Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 2:14).

2. “I assure you, today, you will be with me in Paradise.”—Luke 23:43 NLT

Backstory for a crucified Jewish man. He existence would be obliterated. No trace of him would remain.

The response of grace! “I assure you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” Woman without her man is lost.

Woman, without her, man is lost.

Woman without her man, is lost.

3. “Woman, behold thy Son.” — John 19:26

Jesus means that John would now be her support. Was Jesus motivated by law? “Honour they father and thy mother” Exodus 20:12 The dying Jesus was in agony of body and mind but still concerned with others. His concern for his mother. His trust in John. In Jesus dying he is still loving and serving us (Matthew 20:28, Luke 12:37, 22:27).

Pain focusses our attention on ourselves but Jesus triumphed over self-centredness.

4. “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” — Mark 15:34

This is the emotional experience of Jesus on the Cross. He knows in theory that he is not forsaken but his heart temporarily dominates his head. This is the emotional experience of Jesus at this point in time. He was not abandoned by God but he felt this way. 2 Corinthians 5:19 “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”

Psalms 22, 23 and 24 are Messianic in that they describe the experience of Jesus on the cross and post resurrection. They bear contemplation. The ability of David to anticipate the experience of Jesus confirms the inspiration of scripture and the authentic humanness of Jesus Christ.

5. “I thirst.” — John 19:28

This cry makes certain that Jesus incarnation was no theophany. Jesus was a bona fide human being not a god pretending to be human. Jesus thirsted not only for water but compassion and company, as he had longed for companionship and compassion from his three best friends in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:38).

6. “It is finished.” — John 19:30

Greek equivalent for this statement is one word, “Tetelestai.” This word implies completion and can be understood as the debt was paid, the sentence served, and the battle won. This conclusion is made on the basis of the legal/judicial model of the atonement that Calvin (a lawyer) and Luther popularized in the 1500’s. It was a time when European society was moving from the feudal system to nationalism and Roman law had been rediscovered and was seen as the ideal way to organize society.

In popular theology the need is also stated in this way. “We need a Savior, one who is sinless: a perfect sacrifice to die and rise again for our sins.”

The idea that sin is a legal problem and that death is the just punishment for sinning leads to Jesus having to take the punishment for sin to satisfy God’s justice. In reality, Jesus came to love and serve us and ransom us (Matthew 20:28) from our futile ways of thinking. We could not stand this perfectly loving, serving being and executed him. The necessity of his death lies in our wicked hearts.

We are reluctant to take responsibility for our wickedness and so claim God needed the death of Jesus to enable his forgiveness. We claim the death of Jesus was his plan. It is time for us to take responsibility for the death of Jesus Christ and stop blaming God for our violent evil.

Here is what was accomplished:

1. His mission or work on earth was accomplished (see vs 28). Jesus loved and served all the people involved with his torture and execution to the end. Nothing could stop him loving us at any time, in any circumstance. We could not stop God loving us. God never reached the point where he had decided to execute everyone as in the preflood world (Genesis 6:5-7). God never decided our cup of iniquity was full and destroyed us by military violence as predicted in the Old Testament (Genesis 15:16). If ever God was going to act decisively and violently it would have been in the disgraceful treatment of the innocent Christ.

2. The torn veil in the temple was a supernatural announcement that salvation was achieved. The sacrificial system and temple economy was now redundant. The way into God’s immediate presence was now possible. Priests and high priests, the blood of bulls and goats were not longer needed. We were now welcome to personally cuddle with God as the children did with Jesus.

3. There is more involved than the salvation of humans. At the cross Jesus, who is God, believed he was dying forever for the people executing him. Will he go back to heaven or will he die? He opts to die hence his cry of dereliction. It is a death without hope. It is not a Christian death.

Cosmically the universe had their answer to Satan’s accusation that God was selfish as they watched God die at the expense of himself. The conclusion that they came to was, GOD IS UNSELFISH IN EVERY FIBRE OF HIS BEING.

7. “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” — Luke 23:46

“I feel forsaken and I am dying but I trust you.” Jesus shouted this statement. It was a shout of triumph. The Roman soldiers were convinced.

Matthew 27:54 NLT The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!” I agree!

A moving anthem to listen to at this point is “Who is worthy?”

Ian Hartley, April 2022.

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