When we look atop most churches we see a steeple with a cross, the symbol of Christianity all over the world. What is the meaning of the cross? What does it mean to believe in the Christ of the cross? We can find insight into these questions by examining what Christ said on the cross. Christ was nailed to the cross at 9 o’clock in the morning. He remained on the cross until 3 o’clock in the afternoon. In that period of six hours, He spoke seven times in what are generally called ‘The Seven Last Words.’
Saying 1) “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” It’s not surprising that Jesus prayed on a mount at Calvary, which was outside the city walls of Jerusalem. On another mount in Galilee: “He prayed for those that despitefully use you and abuse you.” He had preached, and now He practiced.
Saying 2) “Verily I say unto Thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Christianity is the Grace of God when a man prays: “Remember me.” Have you ever prayed like that?
Saying 3) “Woman, behold thy son!” “Son, behold thy mother.” If I could, what would I do for this mother? Let me ask you, do you have the opportunities for your mother, for your father? Do you have the opportunity for your family, your sons and daughters? Do you not pray to see them in heaven with you? That’s Christianity. That’s Jesus Christ and the cross.
Saying 4) “Eloi! Eloi! Lama Sabachthani?” God says to us I will never leave you, nor forsake you, because Christ made atonement on the cross so that we can be with Him forever. That’s the gospel and the greatest message we will ever hear.
Saying 5) “I thirst.” The second chapter of Hebrews ends by saying, “He is a true high priest because He understands what we are going through, and He alone is able to offer comfort because he suffered as we do.” Are you in physical pain, been rejected, or misunderstood, or felt lonely? If so Christ is able to comfort you.
Saying 6) “It is finished.” What Christ did on the cross finishes what is necessary for us to be right with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit forever.
Saying 7) “Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit.” Men sometimes lived on the cross for 24 hours, sometimes one to three days in agony. Christ lived for six hours. The Old Testament said: “they never broke a bone,” but when they went to do so, to their utter surprise, He was already dead. He gave up His life. It was His choice.
My weekly prayer is that the reader of this commentary becomes spiritually inspired of God. Become a prayer partner with Expressions of Faith (EOF). Send for a copy of our Intercessory Prayer with a daily rededication of your life to Jesus Christ. Request scripture that will be beneficial with situations you are confronting. Contact EOF at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203; or e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. God bless!