Today, Friday April 15
The Seven Sayings on the Cross Matthew 27:35-36
“And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there…”
Today is Good Friday! It is the day that we remember the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ on an old rugged cross just outside the city walls of Jerusalem. For our Pastor’s Chat today, we want to take a break from Revelation 7 and meditate for a few minutes on the Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross. All four Gospels record the death of Jesus. When you look at four of them together you find that Jesus made at least seven different sayings as He was dying. Matthew tells us that when they crucified Jesus, that “they sit down and watched Him there.” We want to take a few minutes to listen to Him as He makes these final statements.
According to the commonly accepted timetable, our Lord was placed on the cross on an April Friday at 9 a.m. Here he suffered for some six hours and gave up his spirit at 3:00 in the afternoon. Surely these were the most important six hours of all human history.
The first saying: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). Most Bible students would accept the word "forgive" at face value and interpret his prayer as a request for God not to add this horrible crime of regicide (the killing of one’s own king) to the personal accounts of those individuals who killed him. Peter and Paul would amplify on this in later sermons (Acts 3:14, 15, 17):
The second saying: "Verily, I say to you, today shall you be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). Two thieves were crucified with him but only one repented of his terrible deeds and ask for Jesus to remember him in His Kingdom. Because of his repentance and faith, Jesus assured him that he would be with Him later that day in heaven.
The third saying: "Woman, behold thy Son! Behold thy mother!" (John 19:26, 27). Even on the cross in terrible suffering, Jesus is thinking of His mother Mary and her future care. He asked His disciple John to take care of her.
The fourth saying: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). I believe this saying happened at 12:00 noon when the sun went dark and refused to shine for the next three hours. God turned His back on His own Son as Jesus took the full weight of our sins upon Himself. “He was made sin Who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The fifth saying: "I Thirst" (John 19:28). This saying fulfilled the great Messianic prophecy in Psalm 22:15.
The sixth saying: "It is finished" (John 19:30).The sixth statement of Jesus is actually one word in the original Greek. It is tetelestai, meaning, "It was finished, and as a result it is forever done." Jesus was proclaiming that the eternal work of salvation for mankind was forever finished. Jesus paid the complete price for our redemption to satisfy the law of the penalty of death for sin (Romans 6:23). Jesus suffered our hell for us as the eternal wrath of God was poured out on Him as He bore our sins! “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
The seventh saying: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46). The Roman soldiers did not kill Jesus. The Jews did not kill Jesus. Jesus voluntarily laid down His life for my sins and your sins! He chose the exact moment that He would die as our substitute in our place. “… I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again…” (John 10:17-18).
Hallelujah!!!! What a Savior!!!