On the seven words of the Lord on the cross
The Lord Jesus said seven things while on the cross. The first three during the first three hours on the cross; the last three after the three hours of darkness. Here then, according to our chronological order, are these seven words, followed by a few brief notes:
1- A word of intercession for many guilty: "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Lk 23:34)
2- A word of intervention for one guilty: "Verily I say unto thee, Today thou shalt be with me in paradise" (Lk 23:43)
3- A word of care for his mother: "Woman, behold thy son... ... behold thy mother" (Jn 19:26)
4- The abandonment of God: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mt 27:46, Mk 15:34)
5- The fulfillment of the Scriptures: "I thirst" (Jn 19:28)
6- The consummation of all: "It is finished" (Jn 19:30)
7- The abandonment to the Father: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit " (Lk 23:46)
Three of these final words are found in Luke, three in John; one is presented in Matthew and repeated in Mark.
The three in Luke, where the Lord Jesus is presented as the perfect man, manifest a) his perfect heart interceding for the guilty b) his perfect compassion towards a thief who called upon Him after reviling Him c) His perfect dependence in committing Himself to the Father, even in His death (in John 19:31, it says "He gave up the ghost" manifesting here rather the power He had to lay down His life Himself according to John 10:18).
The three words in John, where the Lord Jesus is presented as the Son of God, give the successive final accomplishments of: His earthly responsibilities, of the Word, and of eternal redemption.
The first three of the seven words concern others: His enemies, the repentant thief and His mother.
The first and last of these seven words are addressed to the Father; the first for His enemies, the other for Himself; so then a call to the Father at the beginning (1) and one at the end (7) and a double call to God in the centre word (4). This central word, number four, the one of His forsaking, is the center of all blessings for humanity; it only is a question and it remained unanswered (the redeemed know why); it alone of the seven is quoted in the Old Testament (Ps. 22:1), it is the first reported in the New Testament and the only one repeated in two Gospels; it appears three times in total in the Bible.
The fifth word is unique in that it alone expresses a need and was not addressed to any one in particular; in answer to this word, men accomplished the prophecy of Psalm 69:21.
The sixth word is also unique in that it is an absolute declaration pronounced by the Son of God who accomplished all (see Jn 17:4); this sixth word is the last recorded and allows for the fulfilling of the second!
NOTE: All Bible references are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified. All unsigned material is in the spirit of Ecc. 12:11. Send all correspondence, comments, suggestions to: email@example.com
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