This week I re-read over the crucifixion of Christ in my Bible. One thing that really stood out for me was the way Jesus died and how He remained focused on those around Him and what He came for even during this horrifc event.
I thought I would share these words of Christ from the Cross before communion today.
1. The first words that are recorded from Jesus on the cross show that even in this situation of great agony He is prepared to forgive His accusers, His torturers, His enemies, as He cries out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”
2. He turns to one of the thieves or criminals surrounding Him on the two crosses on either side of Him, who has cried out for remembrance when Jesus comes into His kingdom. Jesus replies, “Truly, today you will be with me in paradise.” As soon as they both die, they can enjoy the presence of God the Father in eternal bliss.
3. Jesus turns to his mother and to the beloved disciple, the apostle John, and says, “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother” Even on the cross He has not forgotten those closest to Him.
4. Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?” Jesus felt some awareness of now being separated from His heavenly Father. The closeness and intimacy that He had enjoyed throughout His life was broken.
5. He cries out, “I thirst.” And yet He refuses to drink what was either a painkiller or a poison, anything that would relieve His suffering or speed up the process of His death. And so His statement, “I thirst,” is probably not merely a statement of human anguish but also one of spiritual anguish following His acknowledgment of separation from God.
6. He says, “It is finished” — certainly referring to His life, but again perhaps we are meant to see the whole plan of salvation has now been accomplished.
7. He cries out, “Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”
So to summarise this event – Jesus asked for God to forgive the people who crucified Him, He offered salvation to one of the thieves, He asked John to care for His mother, He felt the separation from God for the first time and said He thirsted for God, He said the work of salvation is done, and then last but not least, He committed His Spirit to God.
Right until the end Jesus was focussed on us and those around Him. The only detour in His Words were to say that He was feeling the pain of being separated from His Father.
Let us pray.