Discover What We Can Learn from the Final Words of Jesus
We’ve talked about the Bible’s first recorded words of Jesus and his last words before he ascends into heaven. But what people focus on most is what he says as he hangs on the cross, dying in our place for the wrongs we have done. Let’s explore the 7 last sayings of Jesus.
Three of these come from Luke and three from John. The seventh one appears in both Matthew and Mark’s biographies of Jesus. Here’s what he says, the 7 last sayings of Jesus on the cross.
1. Jesus Forgives
Jesus addresses the people who are killing him and those who brought about his execution. He says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV).
In doing so he models the forgiveness that he taught his followers to do. He said to them that if they don’t forgive others, then God won’t forgive them (Matthew 6:15).
Stephen, the Bible’s first martyr, follows this as he is being stoned to death. He asks God to not hold his attackers accountable for what they did, to forgive them (Acts 7:60).
2. Jesus Promises Salvation
To the thief crucified next to him on the cross, Jesus promises that they’ll spend eternity together. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43, NIV).
Though this directly applies to the criminal being executed for his crimes, we too can receive the promise of salvation when we follow Jesus.
3. Jesus Cares for His Mother
As Jesus dies an agonizing death, he carries concern for his mother. He wants to make sure she’s cared for when he’s gone. He asks John to make it happen. He says to Mary “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27, NIV).
Jesus’s concern for his mother warms my heart. Yet it also perplexes me because Jesus has four brothers and some unnamed sisters (Mark 6:3). Couldn’t one of them—shouldn’t one of them—have cared for their mother?
Regardless, in Jesus’s deepest despair, he still thinks of others. We should do the same.
4. Jesus Talks to God
Jesus faces his darkest moment at the time when the weight of humanity’s sins throughout all time rests squarely on him. He must complete this journey on his own. He calls out to God “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, NIV).
This fulfills David’s prophetic words in Psalm 22:1.
Though it’s necessary for Jesus to complete this on his own, we never need do anything by ourselves. God is always with us and will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
5. Jesus Shares a Physical Need
Being thirsty while undergoing one of history’s most brutal forms of execution is minor in comparison to all else that Jesus is physically enduring. Yet no one can help him deal with any of those sufferings. But someone can give him a drink.
This may be why he says, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28, NIV). We see this foreshadowed again by David (Psalm 22:15). Earlier Jesus taught his followers to give water to those in need (Matthew 10:42).
6. Jesus Completes His Mission
As Jesus is about to die, he has fulfilled what he came to earth to do. He confirms this when he tells everyone who is keeping vigil, “It is finished” (John 19:30, NIV).
7. Jesus Gives Himself to His Father
Death will complete Jesus’s earthly mission. Rather than suffer any longer, he wills himself to die and gives his spirit over to Papa: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46, NIV). This also fulfills David’s prophetic words (Psalm 31:5).
The 7 Last Sayings of Jesus
These are the 7 last sayings of Jesus
The result is that Jesus dies so that we may live.
Thank you, Jesus.
Read the 7 last sayings of Jesus during his crucifixion and the events that precede it in Matthew 26:14-27:66, Mark 14:12-15:47, Luke 22-23, and John 18-19.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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