Seven Words of Hope and Life
Jesus lives. The Tomb is empty. Death is defeated. The Grave is opened. God is in control. His Word is true.
The Devil is destroyed. Death, Hell, and the Grave are rendered powerless by Christ's Resurrection. God won.
When Jesus rose the disciples were able to talk with Him, learn from Him, and get established by Him. But how did He do all that? Jesus reminded them of all that He had spoken to them. You could say He took them back to His Words.
Luke 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”
After the Resurrection Jesus took His own back to what He had said before His Death. He opened their understanding to those words. Only instead of looking at all His words, we will just look at His Last Words of Hope and Life.
The Last Words of Jesus - there are seven last words of Jesus. Seven times He spoke to us from the Cross. Last words are always treasures, but Christ's last words are beyond measure.
Before Jesus died, He wanted to say these things. From the dying lips of Jesus, from His raging thirst dried mouth, in spite of excruciating pain, horrors of sin and death and hell – He speaks. Let us listen!
Remember Christ had been acquitted by the highest court of appeal but He is still subjected to the cruelest of punishment.
- Seized by calloused Roman soldiers
- Rudely stripped
- Harshly pushed onto a rough and filthy wooden beam
- Cruelly pierced by Roman spikes
- Raised aloft to be seen by all on an instrument of horror and torture
But in the midst of all that there is a stir, the prisoner held by spikes, thorns and bleeding wound is about to speak to His cruel tormentors. His lips begin to move.
The Seven Words from the Cross
Jesus spoke from the Cross. What words to clasp, hold, and take to heart. He spoke in pain. He spoke in short gasps. He spoke to us. He spoke exactly seven times. Each word holds an ocean of truth for the seeking heart on Resurrection morning. Listen and receive what He so freely offered.
1. The Word of Anguish (the 4th Word from the Cross) Mark 15:33-34 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
- Remember this word that speaks of His absorbing of the wrath of God against our sins. He was forsaken so that we would never be. He was made sin so that ours can be removed. He faced God's Wrath so we never will. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
- Christ's Last words assure us that He absorbed all the punishment for our sins forever. We are saved to the uttermost.
For a moment listen to the heart of Charles Wesley reflected in the hymn Arise my soul arise.
Arise my soul arise,
Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice,
In my behalf appears;
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.
Five bleeding wounds He bears,
They pour effectual prayers,
They strongly plead for me;
Forgive him, O, forgive they cry,
Nor let that ransomed sinner die.
My God is reconciled,
His pardoning voice I hear,
He owns me for His child,
I can no longer fear;
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And Father, Abba Father, cry.
2. The Word of Forgiveness. (the 1st Word from the Cross) Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.
- Remember this word that speaks of His offering His love to us though we are sinners. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
- The word of Forgiveness: It is right there in verse 34, “Father forgive them.” Here is His intercession as the only intercessor priest, our only High Priest. What does He demonstrate by this word of forgiveness? His Pity Toward Sinful Humanity. Bernard of Clairvaux, a believer in Jesus Christ of the 11th century wonderingly said – O Sacred head now wounded for this Thy dying hour, Thy pity without end! This Resurrection morning have you experienced the pity of Jesus Christ toward you a sinful human? If so, you’ve been born again.
- Christ's Last words assure us that He offers His love to us even though He knows that we have failed Him, sinned against Him, and resist Him.
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