Consider today the final words of Jesus. Think about all He suffered just before He spoke them. In the garden, sweating blood as He anticipated the agony of what lay ahead. The betrayal of His closest friends. Merciless beatings, severe enough in and of themselves to have caused His death. Scorn from those, who just days earlier, had honored and praised Him as their king. The humiliation of being mocked, spit upon, and stripped naked. The torture of being nailed to a cross.
At no other time in recorded scripture do we see Jesus’ humanity so evidently revealed. In the final hours at Calvary, Jesus, Who is fully God, became fully man. The One who knew no sin, became the embodiment of sin; of all the horror of the cross, I believe this was the greatest.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
“Woman, behold, your son!” “Behold, your mother!”
At His height of suffering, Jesus prayed for the ones who drove the nails into His feet and hands. In the midst of His agony, He offered eternal assurance to a repentant man. He ignored His own horrific pain, to insure His Mother would be cared for.
It was only after He had seen to the needs of others that He turned His attention to His own suffering.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Are there any of us who have not, at some time in our lives, called out to God “why have you abandoned me”? Haven’t we all been through a dry season and longed for a drink, just a sip, to refresh our parched spirits?
Jesus’ pleas were heard. His prayers were answered. And so are ours for Jesus declared, once and for all…
“It is finished”
Nothing more to be done. Nothing else required. The demands were fulfilled.
Final words, final assurance.
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”
In this final statement, we have God’s ultimate promise and our ultimate hope. Jesus’ words confirm that He has defeated death.
Seven statements from the cross. Parting thoughts. Thoughts of you and me.
In Jesus’ last words, we have the entire gospel message. The message of forgiveness, eternal life, love for one another, His righteousness imparted to us, hope for eternity. It is the message that for Jesus died for; it is the message that we must live for. Knowing He did all this for us, how can we do less for Him?
Last week we asked: What “land” do you need healing for? Here is what you had to say.
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