So we’ve looked at why we need Easter, and how the cross changes lives, but what about the words spoken on Good Friday? Did Jesus just stand and take it all, without saying anything? Did he actually speak anything of any significance?
Jesus died for us, and he spoke 7 things to us all – not commands but encouragements:
- “Forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” You see, in all of our sin, we drove Jesus to the cross – our hearts being far from Him increased the divide, and the crowds on Good Friday, all those years ago, chanted “crucify Him!” We, as a nation, world, or whatever you want to call it, drove Jesus to His death. It’s not pleasant at all! But what’s more unpleasant, is that half of the time, we don’t realise how much we are distancing ourselves from goodness. How much we should be giving – how far off we are. We just don’t know how to live. Even the most religious, fall at hurdles – we have a very limited knowledge. But on the cross, Jesus said, “forgive them for their lack of knowledge.” Forgiveness doesn’t say what we did isn’t wrong, but it says, “I understand, I love you, and I’m giving you a new start.”
- “Today you will be in paradise.” That’s a promise – no matter what, when we place our lives in Christ, we can have faith – a faith that brings us into the kingdom of God.
- “Mother here is your son.” Jesus cares – He knows our greatest needs. Mary, was stricken with grief, and Jesus’ fellow disciple was lost. So Christ placed them together, granting them fellowship through service. At the cross, our greatest needs are cared for – and we are placed into a family of believers.
- “Father why have you forsaken me.” Here is Jesus, making himself vulnerable – He cries out in agony! He shows others that actually, it’s okay to cry out like this to God at times. But look at the unspoken – Christ didn’t fight or rebel, but surrendered to those crucifying Him, even when it felt like God was far away. In the silence, He acted, “not my will but yours be done – even though it’s hurts.” Christ set an encouraging example on the cross: in our pain, God allows us to come to him, to question him, and cry to him – so that we may find the rest we need to trust His plans.
- “I thirst.” This was more than a request for a glass of water, but a fulfilment of scripture. Prophecies declared that these words would be spoken, hundreds of years before they were actually voiced. Here prophecies come true – not just one, but many. Our God is powerful, and his promises are always fulfilled.
- “It’s finished.” We are completely justified – nothing else can be done. God can’t love us any less, or any more. Whether we want Him to or not, He is completely in love with us – and that love has acted. That’s it – love has won!
- “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.” Jesus didn’t die, and then wait for God to raise him. But rather, on that day, He placed his spirit, into his hands – He reconciled himself to God (more on this here), and entered His presence. He simultaneously reconciled us back to God – into his hands, he offered our sins, and brought a new covenant. The covenant of love, grace and mercy.
It’s there in words – Christ died, and He died for you.
But it’s not over yet – come back next Friday, for the last of the series!