Seven Last Words Jesus on the Cross
Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross provide a window into Jesus‘ soul, a way to understand through his own last words what is ultimately important to this One who is dying on the cross.
According to the New Testament, Easter Sunday is three days after the death of Jesus on the cross.”
Here are his Seven Words, the last seven expressions of Jesus on the Cross recorded in Scripture.
- “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
- “This day you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
- “Woman, behold your son.” (John 19:26-27)
- “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46)
- “I thirst.” (John 19:28)
- “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
- “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
THE FIRST WORD
1″Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Jesus of Nazareth is looking down from the cross just after he was crucified between two criminals. He sees the soldiers who have mocked, scourged, and tortured him, and who have just nailed him to the cross.
He probably remembers those who have sentenced him – Caiaphas and the high priests of the Sanhedrin. Pilate realized it was out of envy that they handed him over (Matthew 27:18, Mark 15:10).
But is Jesus not also thinking of his Apostles and companions who have deserted him, to Peter who has denied him three times, to the fickle crowd who only days before praised him on his entrance to Jerusalem, and then days later demanded his crucifixion?
Is he also thinking of us, who daily forget him in our lives?
Does he react angrily? No! At the height of his physical suffering, his love prevails and He asks His Father to forgive! Could there ever be greater irony?
Jesus on the Cross asks his Father to forgive, but it is by Jesus on the Cross Cross that mankind is able to be forgiven!
Right up to his final hours on earth, Jesus on the Cross preaches forgiveness. He teaches forgiveness in the Lord’s prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12).
When asked by Peter, how many times should we forgive someone, Jesus answers seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). He forgives the paralytic at Capernaum (Mark 2:3-12),
the sinful woman who anointed him in the home of Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:37-48), and the adulteress caught in the act and about to be stoned (John 8:1-11).
During the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, Jesus tells them to drink of the cup: “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:27-28).
And even following his Resurrection, his first act is to commission his disciples to forgive: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:22-23).
The Second Word
2″This day you will be with me in Paradise.”
How much are we like the first thief? Full of anger – because we are not rescued from our sin? Full of hate – because we suffer because of the sins of others? How much do we want God to snap his fingers And make right what we have made wrong?
What we have allowed others to make wrong? How easy it is to cry “save us” and to rail against God when there is no magic cure no miraculous recovery no legions of angels to take away pain and bring wholeness.
How easy it is to scorn the Messiah, to mock the goodness of the world and condemn the light of the world because we are unwilling to face what we we have done?
Yet there is goodness There is a cure for sin a cure that does not promise magical solutions but promises that the pain of sin is not the end, that when all this is over when the suffering is finished that Jesus on the Cross.
The final word is not torture and defeat but life — life springing out of the ashes life transformed and fulfilled in Paradise.
To the compassionate thief To the one who could still recognize the good in the world To the one who tried to comfort and protect that good To the one who sought good — Comfort was given “Today, you will be in paradise with me.”
The Third WORD
3″Woman, behold your son.”
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and
26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved
standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the
disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
The FOURTH WORD
4“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me”
In his abandonment, Jesus prays with the Psalmist those piercing words (Ps 22:1). Jesus as the Son of God could not be abandoned by God; Jesus as Man could and was abandoned by God: “So was the son left to die by the Father” (Tertullian).
Jesus accepted “absolute loneliness” as part of God’s will and to be close to the lonely and abandoned of the world: the poor, migrants, refugees, women, born and unborn children, the elderly. Jesus is close to all of us, particularly when we feel abandoned, and ask God our Father: Why this cancer?
Why do you keep quiet when children are abused? Why the continuing terrorists’ attacks? Why, Lord, do you remain silent and tolerate all these evils?
And we continue asking questions to God and make of our questions – after Jesus – an act of faith and a prayer of hope to our merciful Father. Jesus on the Cross Aid us, O Lord, to accompany the abandoned around us and when we feel abandoned, to pray with Jesus: “Rescue my soul from the sword”; “Save me from the lion’s mouth” (Ps 22:20-21).
THE FIFTH WORD
Now, we come to His fifth statement. “After this, Jesus says, I thirst.” Jesus on the Cross nearly 6 hours. The 3 hours of thick darkness were nearly over.
After this, He spoke. “I thirst.” Why did He say that? Jesus said, “I thirst,” because He knew that all things were now accomplished.
Because of what the Old Testament predicted In (Ps 69:21) “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.” Ps 69 prophecies that the Messiah will be humiliated, so does Ps 22.
The Old Testament predicted that He would be a Suffering Messiah. When Jesus on the Cross, He fulfilled prophecy.
His death was no accident, and certainly no afterthought. It was the very plan of God. And it was revealed in the Word of God, hundreds of years ahead of time! Jesus uttered these words in order to fulfill prophecy and He also felt physical and spiritual pain.
Jesus sees our brokenness. He knows us. He loves us. He suffered for us. He thirsts for lost men. And He bids us thirst for lost men, too
THE SIXTH WORD
6″It is finished.”
When Jesus on the Cross had received the wine, he said, “It is finished;” and he bowed his head and handed over the spirit. (John 19:30).The sixth is Jesus’ recognition that His suffering is over and his task is completed.
Jesus was obedient to the Father and gave his love for mankind by redeeming mankind with His death on the Cross.It was the darkest day of mankind. But, prophetically, it also became the brightest day for humanity
THE SEVEN LAST WORD
7″Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Here Jesus closes with the words of Psalm 31:5, speaking to the Father. We see his complete trust in the Father. Jesus entered death in the same way he lived each day of his life, offering up his life as the perfect sacrifice and placing himself in God’s hands.
Saved by the Blood of Christ
The story doesn’t end here; there is the hope we celebrate at Easter Sunday. But for now, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the suffering sacrifice of our Savior. You can give thanks to Jesus on the Cross for his steadfast love and faithfulness that led him to lay down his life for you as a ransom.
“Easter Sunday is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb on the third day after his crucifixion. Easter is the fulfilled prophecy of the Messiah who would be persecuted, die for our sins, and rise on the third day. (Isaiah 53).
Remembering the resurrection of Jesus is a way to renew daily hope that we have victory over sin. According to the New Testament, Easter Sunday is three days after the death of Jesus on the cross.”
Good Friday Prayer
Lord God, when our world lay in ruins
you raised it up again through your passion and death.
O king of the Friday,
whose limbs were stretched on the cross,
O Lord, who suffered the bruises, the wounds, the loss,
we lay ourselves open to the loving kindness
of your Sacred Heart.
May some fruit from the tree of your passion
fall upon us on this night.