Total Surrender at the Cross :: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit

Jesus’ seventh and final saying on the Cross before he gave up the ghost was “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” which was addressed to God, his Holy Father. In this saying, we see Jesus’ total surrender to God, into God’s holy hands – from which no man can pluck (John 10:29).

Points to ponder:
Jesus totally surrendered  himself at the Cross. Today, he expects the same from you and me. Can we look at him today, and totally surrender over selves into his hands. Can we say, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.

Luke 23:46 (KJV)
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Belonging On the Cross :: It is Finished

Jesus’ sixth saying on the Cross was “It is finished.” which is not particularly directed to anyone specifically, but was a profound declaration of the all of creation, the new state of affairs – the world forever changed – as the devil, the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and his power over man, which is death (Hebrews 2:14), was finished. The words, “It is finished” comes from the Greek word “Tetelastai” which means paid in full.

When we owe a mortgage on a property, until that property is paid off in full, we cannot claim total ownership of that property. The moment we pay the loan in full, the rights of ownership is transferred along with the title of that paid property to us.

Points to ponder:
Jesus declared that it is finished. In other words, he was saying that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), but those wages have been paid in full – there is no more payment needed for those who have receive him and who believe in him. Jesus bought us with his own life and now he holds the title of ownership of our life in his hands. We belong on the cross, but because of Jesus taking our place, we now belong to him, if we believe in him. Where would you like to belong – on the Cross or in the hands of Christ? Considering the fact, that it (the work of Salvation) was finished, this should be a easy question to answer.

John 19:30 (KJV)
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Craving on the Cross :: I thirst

Jesus’ fifth saying from the Cross, which is “I thirst” has often been expanded as one which was the result of his physical needs for being quenched due to dehydration or metaphorically as one in which Jesus thirsted for the souls of those lost and those who had not yet placed their trust in him.

Points to ponder:
The dictionary defines the word “thirst” as a strong or eager desire or craving. How could the one who is the very source of living waters thirst? I would like to believe that Jesus strongly desired or craved for the restoration of mankind unto God, which was the mission he had come to accomplish and having known that all things he had come to accomplish was accomplished, in order to fulfill the scripture, he cried out, I thirst (John 19:28). In other words, Jesus strongly craved for your and me on the Cross.

In a world that is lonely and desolate, we can take solace in the fact, that Jesus craves and desires to be in a relationship with us. The question that begs to be answered to then is “Do you have a strong and eager desire to be in relationship with God?” “Do you crave for Jesus?”

John 19:28 (KJV)
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst

It gets personal on the Cross :: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

Jesus’ fourth saying from the Cross, as he lived up to His Name, which was to save His people from their sins, was a question directed, not to any man but, to God. It is the only question in the seven sayings of Christ from the Cross and it was Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being translated, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:33-34; Matthew 27:46)

In the past, from both the pulpit as well as in articles (posts), servants of God, including I, have exposited on the plausible reasons as to the reason for Jesus questioning God as to why he had been forsaken. While we may never fully comprehend the extent to Jesus’ cry to God, we can see that in this saying, Jesus used the first person personal pronoun, ‘my’ in his address of his Father as God – not once, but twice. The word ‘my’ implies possession. When Jesus addressed God as ‘My God, My God’, he was making a personal address.

Points to ponder:
It gets personal on the Cross. In like manner, today, God is seeking you and me to have a personal Father-child relationship and to all who receive Jesus and who believe in his name, he has given them the power to be called the children of God (John 1:12). If you are yet to accept Jesus as your Savior, Lord and King, come to the Cross and make it personal today. It got personal on the Cross, the day they crucified Jesus. Today, get personal with God so that you can address God as “My” God, “My” God.

Mark 15:34 (KJV)
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Family Relationship :: Woman, behold thy son! … Behold thy mother!

Jesus’ third saying from the Cross was directed to his mother and to his beloved disciple who was standing by her. To her, he said, “Woman, behold thy son!” and to him, he said, “Behold thy mother!” In this saying, Jesus takes two people who are unrelated and establishes a family relationship (mother – son) between them.

Points to ponder:
To all who receive Jesus and who believe in his name, he gave them the power to be called the sons of God (John 1:12) and Jesus expressed that whoever does the will of God his Father, is his brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:50). In other words, Jesus relates those who are unrelated into a family – the very family of God. On the Cross, Jesus established a family relationship. Today, he seeks to establish your relationship and mine with God himself. Have you tasted the joy of God’s salvation? O taste and see (behold) that the Lord God is good (Psalm 34:8) wanting you to become part of his family. Do you believe? Behold …

John 19:26-27 (KJV)
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Emmanuel on the Cross :: Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise

Jesus’ second saying from the Cross was “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” While this is a testament to the assurance of being in the presence of Christ, when we believe, as did the penitent malefactor, who recognized Jesus, not just as a man on the Cross, but as the Lord and King who shall return to reign, it is important to not overlook two key words in this saying. The words are “with me”. The penitent thief was given one of the greatest blessings that man can ever experience, which was to be with Christ Jesus.

Points to ponder:
Jesus’ name was prophesied to be called Emmanuel, meaning God with us (Matthew 1:23) and here we see that not only was God (Jesus) with man, but now because of Jesus’ redemptive act of Salvation being fulfilled on the Cross, man could be with God. In other words, Emmanuel was on the Cross and man was given the assurance of being with him – with God. If you believe in Jesus and you accept him as Lord and King, you can hear Jesus saying “Verily I say unto thee, Today, shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Do you hear his voice?

Luke 23:39-43 (KJV)
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss [INNOCENCE].
And he said unto Jesus, Lord [DIVINITY]remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom [KINGSHIP].

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (KJV)
2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Sovereignty of God :: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do

Jesus’ first words from the Cross was “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” While many focus on the forgiveness part of this saying, it is important to recognize that the second part is equally important because it establishes the sovereignty of God. Unbeknownst to those who played a part in the crucifixion of Jesus, for whom Jesus sought forgiveness, was the fact, that it was God’s master plan for the redemption of mankind that the Son of God must shed his blood for the remission of mankind’s sin. God sovereignty comes out on top in the affairs of man, even in the crucifixion of Jesus for the Scripture was to be fulfilled as mentioned in the prophecy of Daniel, that they shall put the Anointed One to death (Daniel 9:26). While men played a mere part in God’s redemptive work, it was God who was not only the conductor but he was also in control of all that transpired that led to the crucifixion of Jesus. It was indeed God’s plan that Jesus should be made an offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10). While man intended to hurt Jesus and do him evil, God intended it all for good – the good of all mankind – to save all mankind (Genesis 50:20).

Points to ponder:
God is Sovereign and his word will always come true and while men may mean evil against you, God means it all for good (to save much people – made alive in Jesus Christ). In other words, the words of Jesus today ring – Father, forgive them, for you are Sovereign and all that you have planned shall come to pass, which the people do/may not know.

Luke 23:34 (KJV)
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Isaiah 53:10 (NLT)
10 But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.