The 7 Statements from the Cross
Good Friday, in most churches around the world, the people of
God would meditate on the seven
versesspoken by Jesus from the Cross.
First verse: Jesus said, "Father, forgive them: for they do not know what they are doing." And they parted His garments, and cast lots (Luke 23:34).
The chief priests, the elders of the people, the scribes, the high priest, the Roman rulers, etc. did not know that what they did to the Son of God. Their eyes were blinded to the truth because of their self-righteousness and pride. Had they known the truth, they would not have crucified Christ. However, it is not the case with the present generation or the Jews in Israel who have not accepted Christ, after hearing the glorious gospel.
The Roman soldiers parted His garments and cast lots because the Scriptures in Ps.22: 17 might be fulfilled (Matt.27: 35). The Roman soldiers who had to carry out the orders of their rulers did not know what they did. They did not know the Scriptures also whereas the high priest, the chief priests, etc. were supposed to know the prophecies in the Scriptures. The soldiers of a nation are not to blame for the wrong decisions taken by their kings/rulers because they are supposed to carry out the orders of their rulers or kings.
Jesus sought forgiveness of the sins of His enemies because they did not know what they were doing. As born-again Christians, we cannot claim forgiveness through the Blood of Jesus Christ if we continue to sin wilfully. We have to confess and to forsake our sins.
Second verse: One of the malefactors said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into your kingdom". Jesus said to him, "I tell you the Truth, today you will be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:42-43)
Some people believe that they can be saved in the eleventh hour like this malefactor. If a person, who had not heard about Christ earlier, accepts Christ on his deathbed, he will definitely be in paradise. However, it is not with a person on the deathbed who had heard the gospel umpteen times but had not accepted Christ. When a sinner humbles himself/herself before God and calls on Him in Jesus' Name, he gets salvation and an assurance of entering paradise after death. Though Jesus was Himself undergoing unbearable physical pain, He preached the message of salvation to a sinner who was condemned to die. According to the law of the land, the malefactor deserved to die. But God forgave him when He accepted Christ as his Lord. We should preach the gospel at all times, irrespective of whether we undergo physical sufferings or not. Physical sufferings should not deter us from preaching the gospel or from engaging in His ministry.
The essence of the glorious gospel is forgiveness. Jesus forgave His enemies hanging from His Cross. He could have forgiven them after His resurrection from the dead. He forgave them from the very Cross made by them for Him. If we are the disciples of Christ Jesus, we have to follow His footsteps. We should forgive our enemies when we suffer persecution through their very hands. Christian nations should have the mind of Christ in forgiving their enemies. The Name of Christ should be glorified by these nations because it is Christ Who had blessed and exalted these nations in the world. The founding fathers of these nations were God-fearing people. Alas! Now the present rulers of these nations have not heeded Him. They have trampled His Word.
Third verse: When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom He loved,Jesus said to His mother, "Dear woman, here is your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Here is your mother!" And from that hour, that disciple took her unto his own home (John 19:27).
Here, we see the relationship between the members of His Body. You have to accept and minister to a widow or an orphan who are of the household of God. It is not merely a spiritual relationship between the members of His body but also a close fellowship of love between the members of His body irrespective of their denominational or national barriers. A dear mother in Christ who lives in another nation becomes my mother and I become her son in Christ. The disciples during the New Testament period pooled all their material things together and ministered to one another that were needy. None did say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common (Acts 4:32).
Fourth verse: After talking to His mother and the disciple, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst".
Many may interpret that Jesus was spiritually thirsty, as He wanted souls to be saved. However, the simple meaning of this verse is that Jesus was physically thirsty because He was 100% human.
Fifth verse: When Jesus had received the vinegar, Jesus said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). Jesus finished His work on the Cross in fulfillment of the Scriptures. We have to believe in His finished work at Calvary for our salvation and for our healing. We are also crucified with Him ( Gal.2:20). It is finished. Jesus will not again go to the Cross for giving us salvation or for healing our diseases.
Sixth verse: 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?" ( Mat.27:46).
Many preachers use to preach that since the sin of the whole world was cast on the Body of Jesus, the presence of His Father was withdrawn from Him, and He cried like this. The Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world ( Rev.13:8). He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities (Is.53:5). This shows that Christ Jesus had borne our sins and iniquities from the foundation of the world. It is not that at that particular point of time, the sin of the world was cast on the Body of Jesus and that He lost the presence of His Father. Jesus cried, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" because the prophecy, in Ps.22:1, had to be fulfilled. This also shows that Jesus, the Son of Man was like any one of us, as we cry in bitterness of agony, "Why God, why God?". God did smite Jesus physically for our sins. He could not bear the physical and mental pain and cried in agony, "Why God, why Godâ¦." Every one of us at one point of time or the other in our life would have cried or would cry in agony like this.
Seventh verse: About the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, "Father into Thy hands I commend My Spirit" (Luke 23:45-46). The children of God on their deathbed have to commit their spirits into the hands of God after finishing their races in this world.
The veil of the temple in Jerusalem was rent in the midst. The Levitical priesthood was done away with, and in place of the physical temple, a glorious temple i.e . the Church, the Body of Christ was subsequently born on the day of Pentecost. We find today that many Christian ministers perform the Levitical priesthood and do not involve others in their ministries. They just want to be popular and want to do all the work themselves. They want to preach from the pulpits on all Sundays. The pulpit ministry was done away with when the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. All the children of God redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb of God have become kings and priests unto God. Paul was doing a team ministry involving others.
For more information, please visit Glory of His Cross Ministries athttp://gloryofhiscross.googlepages.com