Seven Words from the Cross: The Powerful Messages of Jesus in His Final Moments

The final moments of Jesus’s life on earth were marked by immense suffering and anguish as He hung on the cross. Despite the excruciating pain, He spoke seven powerful words that continue to inspire and comfort Christians around the world. These seven words offer insight into the depth of Jesus’s love, His mission on earth, and His ultimate victory over death. In this post, I have sought to set out these seven words and explain them as best as I understand them.

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

The first of Jesus’s seven words on the cross is a powerful expression of forgiveness. While He hung on the cross, Jesus prayed for those who were responsible for his suffering and death, asking his Father in Heaven to forgive them. What is striking is that Jesus adds, “for they do not know what they are doing”? The soldiers knew they were killing Jesus but little did they know that they were rather giving Him the opportunity to save mankind. Jesus asked the Father to forgive them for their ignorance, and perhaps their immediate act of killing Him. This act of mercy is a powerful reminder that even in our darkest moments, we are called to show compassion and forgiveness towards others.

  1. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

The second word of Jesus on the cross is a message of hope and salvation. As He hung between two criminals, Jesus assured one of them that he would be with Him in paradise that very day. This word reminds us that no matter how far we may have strayed from God, there is always the possibility of redemption and eternal life. We have to recognise that we are sinners and then believe in our hearts that Jesus is the only one who can save us from our sins and draw us closer to Him. Jesus yearns for us to be with Him in paradise however, the ball is in our court. We have to make that decision to confess Him as our Lord and saviour.

  1. “Woman, here is your son. . . . Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)

The third word of Jesus on the cross is a reminder of the importance of community and caring for one another. He entrusted His mother to the care of His beloved disciple, John, and by this act, Jesus showed His love and concern for those closest to Him, even in his final moments. We were created to serve one another and care for one another. All throughout this Lenten period, we are supposed to pray for one another and give willingly to one another.

  1. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34)

The fourth word of Jesus on the cross is a cry of despair and anguish. He felt the weight of the sins of the world upon His shoulders and cried out to His Father in Heaven, questioning why He had been abandoned. The truth is God had not abandoned Jesus. God is holy and cannot be near sin. When Jesus carried all our sins upon His shoulders, it created a space between Him and the Father. But Jesus called out to His Father and His Father heard Him. This word reminds us that even in our darkest moments, we can turn to God in our pain and suffering. When sin creates a gap between our Father in Heaven and us, the devil would want us to be quiet and suffer in sin. But God wants us to recognise that He has the power to liberate us from the shackles of sin and desires for us to call out to Him. When we call out to God, and confess our sins – lay it all bare before Him – He is faithful and just, and will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

  1. “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)

The fifth word of Jesus on the cross is a reminder of His humanity and physical suffering. As Jesus hung on the cross, He experienced thirst and dehydration, reminding us that He truly experienced the full range of human emotions and sensations. And because He was human and experienced what human beings go through, He is in a better position to intervene on our behalf before our Father. Therefore, we should not hesitate to call on Jesus because He is our advocate.

  1. “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

The sixth word of Jesus on the cross is a proclamation of victory and completion. With Jesus nearing the end of His earthly life, He declared that His mission on earth had been fulfilled. This word reminds us that Jesus’s death was not a defeat but a triumph over sin and death. We can rejoice in this victory.

  1. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

The seventh and final word of Jesus on the cross is a statement of trust and surrender. As He breathed His last breath, Jesus entrusted His spirit to His Father in heaven, demonstrating His complete and utter faith in God. This word reminds us that no matter what trials we may face in life, we can trust in God’s love and mercy to guide us.

In conclusion, Jesus’s seven words on the cross offer a powerful testimony to His love, His mission, and His ultimate triumph over sin and death. May we always remember these words and find strength and hope in them, even in our darkest moments.

Written by Kow Abaka Essuman, an advocate for Jesus Christ.

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