Whilst hanging on the cross, fighting for every breath, Jesus managed to speak out seven important sentences, which can form the basis of a really meaningful devotional study, says Phil Weaver
We can learn from what Jesus said on the cross.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Jesus looks down from the cross, he sees the soldiers who mocked, scourged and tortured him, and who had just nailed him to the cross. He remembers those who have sentenced him – Annas and Caiaphas the High Priests, the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate.
He thinks of his disciples who had deserted him, Peter who had denied him three times. Below him is the fickle crowd who only days before praised him on his entrance to Jerusalem.
Could he also have been thinking of you and me, who at times somehow manage to forget, ignore or deliberately disobey him?
When Jesus uttered these eleven unforgettable words, he revealed a higher, greater type of love that this world had never seen before or indeed since – agape Love.
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Jesus was crucified between two criminals, one of whom has the audacity to mock him.
But the criminal on the other side speaks up for Jesus, saying that he and the other criminal were receiving their just dues, whereas, ‘this man has done nothing wrong’. Then, turning to Jesus, he asks, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” (Luke 23:42).
Ignoring his own suffering, Jesus responds with mercy and grace. “Today,” Jesus says, “you will be with me in Paradise.
Such generosity, love and forgiveness to a man who only asked to be remembered!
Jesus said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.”
What sorrow must have filled Mary’s heart! How must she have felt, seeing her son as he was flogged and as he attempted to carry his cross on the Via Dolorosa? And then, as she watched, her boy was nailed to the cross and hoisted into the air to die.
It must have felt like a sword piercing her very soul; and then she remembered the prophecy of Simeon at the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple some thirty-odd years before (see Luke 2:35)
From the cross, through his blurred and blood-stained eyes, Jesus sees his mother with John, one of the Twelve. “John,” he says, “make sure you look after my mum.” ‘Honour your mother and father...’ Exodus 20 commands us. Something Jesus never forgot – not even when he was about to draw his last breath on the cross!
This article was taken from the Spring 2020 issue of iBelieve Magazine.
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