On Tuesday, I read three places in Scripture that had some of Jesus’ last words. In each of those instances, he focused on the needs of others. Today, some of the words he uttered in his last days show his vulnerable side. It is evidence as him being fully human, fully God.
Mark 15:34 records Jesus saying “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” For Jesus’ perfect sacrifice to be complete, God had to abandon the Son. These words remind us that of the agony that Christ faced on the cross because of the wrath he had to face to take our sins upon him. This is sacrifice…Jesus died for our sake, not his. Because he faced that abandonment, we will never have to. He is with us until the very end of the age!
John 19:28 says “I thirst.”
These words of Jesus remind us that again he had a human side. He did all the things that we had to do…including drink water. Though he was the Living Water, he still felt everyting that came at him that week. Whips, nails, and the weight of the cross. He even felt thirst.
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46
Jesus is completely surrendering to God. He realizes that the ultimate sacrifice must be done and commits to God’s will. He knew that God’s plan is perfect in every way. So, he surrendered his will completely to God.
“It is Finished” John 19:30
In these words, Jesus spoke into every believers’ heart past, present, and future. He simply said, “It is Finished”. These must have been powerful words because at that same time, the mighty temple curtain, which separated God from man was torn in two. This curtain was more like a barrier than what we think of as a curtain. It was thick. But, when Christ uttered these words, salvation was spoken into the hearts of all those that believe that Christ died and rose. Jesus conquered death…the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God is complete. Salvation has come to all who believe.
Here is our lesson for today: Christ came and suffered a grueling death. God took the form of one man, lived a sinless life, and bore the sins of all who believe triumphing over sin and Satan. Are you praising God this Easter season for the salvation that Jesus brought? We should have such an immense gratitude that worship is a natural flowing from our heart.
Have you seen the old western movies that depict vigilante groups or the “New Sheriff” in Town that finally catches up to an armed robber or a man of ill repute? They are prepared to kill the person and they ask him “Do you have any last words?”
This week, I would like to focus on Jesus’ last words. Here we are on a journey to the cross. We are specifically focusing on the last days of Christ in preparing our hearts and minds for Easter. We are to that each Sunday, but annually we choose to commemorate Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection each Easter. So, in anticipation of Easter we want to take a glimpse into Jesus’ life! So, it is, we are focusing on Jesus’ last words.
Jesus knew his death was imminent and soon. He prepared his disciples for the day when the ministry would be left solely up to them. But, let’s examine now some specific words that Jesus spoke:
“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
On the cross, Jesus took our sins. He endured the most horrific form of torture and death because of the wrath for our sins and took our guilt upon him. He took our punishment, our guilt: past, present, and future. In these last words, he isn’t thinking about himself…he is thinking about everyone else and forgives them…us.
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
One of my favorite stories is the thief on the cross. There was a person on each side of Jesus each on a cross. Both of them were condemned to die for their mistakes in life. One of them chose to mimic Christ; while the other one recognized him as Christ. He asked for Jesus to remember him when he gets to heaven. So Christ told him “you will be with me”. Isn’t that a beautiful, accurate description of redemption?
“Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother’” John 19:26-27
Jesus witnesses his mother in the midst of grief. He shows her compassion by telling her that the disciples will take care of her. The church will take care of her. So, here Christ was thinking of his own mother in the midst of his own death. Jesus shows this type of compassion to us daily.
Here is the lesson for today: Here were three things Jesus said in his last days. Each of them focused on someone else! It would have been easy to simply focus on himself and his last days, but instead he showed compassion, forgiveness, and assured them of their salvation! He offers that to you today. Are you willing to accept Christ’s compassion, forgiveness and salvation?
I am a man on a journey...