|Christ's Words from the Cross
Words enable us to communicate with others. They carry tremendous power; the power to bring pleasure, or to inflict pain; the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21), and, therefore, they must be spoken with great care since one day we will have to account for them.
36But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. KJV
When you listen to the words a man utters, you often hear his heart speak. Jesus said,
45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.KJV
This Easter, I have written a short commentary on the Words of Christ uttered from the Cross, through which I believe we can learn a wonderful lesson on the subject of suffering.
God is Able
Christ’s Words from the Cross
34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. KJV
Jesus prayed and interceded for his enemies; He asked His Father to forgive them even while they were putting Him to death.
Jesus led by example. He taught His disciples the importance of freeing those who have injured them. In doing so, they will free themselves from the poisonous weeds of anger, bitterness and resentment, which, if allowed to grow in the garden of the soul, will bring only fever, infection and death. Noxious emotions enslave men; forgiveness brings release and allows for healing.
43And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. KJV
Jesus ministered to a fellow sufferer. Two thieves were crucified alongside of Jesus. They were both guilty of their crimes; only one was repentant. Jesus, although suffering Himself, offered this man a glimmer of hope when He assured him he would gain entrance into Paradise that day.
Jesus willingly poured Himself out for others; His Body was broken for us, His Blood was shed for us. We can be like Him by becoming broken bread and poured out wine for others. Sharing one’s faith with fellow sinners can lead them from the path of destruction to the way of life. There are many ways of sharing our faith, hope and love in Christ; which may bring consolation to those dying under the weight of sin and sorrow. We simply have to be willing vessels for God to use.
26When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! KJV
Jesus, dying in agony, concerned Himself with the future care of His mother. His filial affection for her caused Him to reach out to His beloved disciple and trusted friend to ask him to assume His responsibilities for her welfare.
Jesus taught by His example that we shouldn’t use personal suffering as an excuse to run away from our responsibilities. He fulfilled His filial duties by seeing to it that His mother would be provided for when He was gone.
27Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. KJV
Jesus, knowing He was about to die, reached out to His beloved disciple asking him to care for His mother.
Jesus, in this instance, taught us that when we can’t do it alone, we need to reach out to others, members of the family or a trusted friend, to help us.
46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? KJV
Jesus cried out in human misery; a natural reaction for a man. Even though He was sinless, in becoming the sin-offering for mankind He felt the wrath of God directed toward our sin. He felt a separation from God He never experienced before, and it caused Him to suffer in pain and anguish.
It’s natural for us to cry out to God in pain and anguish when we suffer. We, too, may feel He has abandoned us to suffer alone. But like Jesus, we mustn’t allow those thoughts or feelings to remain and immobilize us. Jesus died a voluntary death; no man took His life from Him, He surrendered it to God. We must do likewise by surrendering our lives to God; by trusting Him even when we suffer and don’t know ‘why’. Focus on Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross. Remember God loved us enough to send His Son to die for our sins, to redeem us, and, therefore, He will never leave us or forsake us.
28After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. KJV
Jesus, nearing the end of His earthly life, continued to honor God by fulfilling the Scriptures. Suffering wearies the soul, which thirsts for relief.
When suffering continues coping can be difficult.Day after day of cold, numbing darkness wearies even the most faithful and devoted Christian who thirsts for reprieve. When tempted to give up, we need to remain focused on the Answer to all our suffering, the Son of God, rather than on the problem. It may help to remember that while clouds cover the earth, the Son continues to shine in the heavens above.
30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. KJV
The word Jesus uttered when He died was tetelestai, which means “IT IS FINISHED.” It also means “accomplished”, and was used on receipts to indicate a debt had been paid in full.
JESUS DIED having fully paid the debt for our sin; His suffering eventually came to an end, and so will ours. A new day will dawn and with it the warmth of a new life filled with new beginnings and a new purpose will arise. Trust in Jesus, for HE IS ABLE to complete the good work He began in you on the day of your salvation.
6Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: KJV