MAJ-3 - Jesus' Statements on the Cross
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MORE ABOUT JESUS
In the midst of his suffering and agony on the cross the Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ cried out, “Eloi Eloi lema sabachthani,” which is translated “My
God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Mark 15:34
We welcome you to our series of lessons ‘More About Jesus.’ Every
one of us who loves the Lord, who wants to follow the Bible, and believes in
the New Testament indeed wants to know more about Jesus. We want to
pattern our lives after His life, the life of the Savior. Today in our series of
lessons we think about the seven statements that Jesus made on the
cross, and how those statements impact and change world history. But not
only history, they change our lives and motivate us to be greater followers
of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Today we study those great statements, the seven statements that
Jesus took time to make on the cross. We say it in that way, because every
breath that the Lord took on the cross was no doubt a breath of suffering
and agony. To breathe and say those things had to mean they were very
very important to say.
Imagine in your mind if you will as Jesus is hanging on the cross. His
hands are nailed. His feet are nailed to the cross. To inhale Jesus has to
put pressure on His feet. The nails in His ankles and in His feet hurt. To
exhale Jesus has to put pressure on his hands. And so friend, with every
breath the Lord took it was indeed a breath of agony, pain, and suffering.
Therefore the things He said on the cross had to be extremely
important and essential for Christians and something that God desperately
wanted us to have.
What did Jesus take time to say on the cross?
We begin with the words of Luke 23:34, as Jesus taught us probably
one of the most masterful lessons about forgiveness you could ever
imagine. The Scripture records, “Then Jesus said while He was on the
cross looking down at all the people, who would likely put Him there, then
Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they do,’ and
they divided His garments and cast lots.”
As was the fulfillment of Scripture, but I want you think about what
Jesus has just endured. He came into the world to save people from sin.
He went about doing good and preaching the gospel. He didn’t do evil. He
didn't degrade people. He healed the sick. He helped the poor and fed
those who are hungry. He cast out demons from those who are afflicted.
And for all of that what did they say? ‘Crucify Him!’ the mob cried out. And
yet they took Jesus, they beat Him, they mocked Him, and they twisted a
crown of thorns and embedded it into His skull. They beat Him on the head
with the rod. They took Him and bound Him with His back tied, and over
and over again they scourge the Lord and Savior. And then they took Him
up that to that place of the skull, to Golgotha, Calvary. And they nailed His
hands and feet to a cross, and He hung there in agony. And yet the love of
Christ, the master of forgiveness, had the heart, the attitude, and the
mindset to say to the very people who had done that, “Father forgive them
for they know not what they do.”
Now you put yourself in that situation. You think if somebody had
tortured you, if somebody had beaten you, if those things that occurred in
your life and your there on the cross, what would you be thinking? You
might be thinking about those legions of angels that could indeed come
down at that moment and reek violence and destruction on all those who
done that. We might be thinking about pity and why and how bad it is for
me. We might be thinking how bad we've got it. We might be thinking, ‘Why
did God let this happen.’ We might be thinking of a host of other things.
What was Jesus thinking on the cross? He stayed true to His mission.
He came to seek and save the lost, Matthew 1:21. He came to bring God's
plan of salvation, and friend that plan of salvation was available to all men
and even those who put Him on the cross.
And so as I think about the statements of Jesus, you can’t help but
see Jesus as the master of forgiveness.
Now practically speaking, how does this apply to me and you? Here's
the application, let's say that in our lives there somebody who wrongs us.
Let's say there's someone who does harm to us, does evil to us, and does
something that they shouldn't do to us. What should be our attitude? To
forgive them. If they repent, “If he repents forgive him,” Luke 17:3. Jesus
gave the illustration on the Sermon on the Mount, if you're at the altar and
you find that you’ve got fault your brother, what do you do? You leave your
gift at the altar. You go make it right with your brother. Friend the idea
forgiveness is not only something that God extends to us; it's something we
should extend to others. You know too many times we hold grudges. We
get angry. We get all worked up, and it is as though we want people to get
what's coming to them. Not Jesus, if men would've got what was coming to
them, Jesus indeed had the power to do it. But instead He said “Father
forgive them they know not what they do.” Reminiscent of the words of
Stephen. As he's being stoned, he looked up to heaven and said much of
the same in Acts 7. And friend our attitude always needs to be an attitude
of love and forgiveness and hope that people will turn to God.
On the cross one of the great statements Jesus also makes and it
expresses Jesus’ love for the lost is found in Luke 23:43. There were two
thieves on the cross at one time. They both reviled the Lord and Savior the
gospel accounts record for us. But then one of them had a change of heart,
and he turned to the Lord. He realized He was a just man, that he had done
wrong, and he's now pleading for his eternal soul. Nobody comes down
from a cross, he knows that. He's talking about matters in the future. He
looks for forgiveness. He looks for hope. Here's what Jesus said in Luke
23:43 and Jesus said, “That the assuredly I say to you, today you will be
with Me in Paradise.” Look at the love of Jesus! Even on the cross Jesus is
saving souls, pointing people toward God, and fulfilling His mission in which
He came to seek and save the lost. This penitent thief who is now come to
terms with his own demise is facing eternity square, in reality comes to
Jesus, penitent heart ready to change. Jesus says, ‘You made the right
choice. Today you'll be with me in Paradise.’
Now there's a great lesson learned here and it indeed is the love of
the Savior for the lost. Don't miss the point. Jesus wants all men to be
saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. The Scripture clearly records
1 Timothy 2:4 the Bible says that, “God is not slow concerning His
slowness or slack concerning His promises as some men count slowness,
but He is long-suffering toward us not willing that any should perish, but
that all should come to repentance.” This man under the age in which he
was living, came to Jesus, expressed his faith, a desire to change, and
Jesus had the power on earth to save him. So what wonderful love the
Savior had for the lost!
But now friend as we think about this statement let me mention that
often times this thief is used in a context and in a manner which is not in
accord with the Scriptures teaching on salvation. Many times as we talk
with people about the New Testament plan of salvation which Jesus clearly
taught to be saved you've got to believe in Him, John 8:24. Jesus said,
“Unless you believe that I'm He you will surely die in your sins.” Jesus
clearly taught in the Scriptures that you have to change your life. Luke 13:3
Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” The Lord ever
so plainly said that one must confess Him as Savior. Jesus said in Matthew
10:32-33, “If you won't confess Me before men neither will I confession you
before the Father.” And friend Christ made it so plain that to be saved in the
New Testament age; one must be baptized for the remission of sins. Listen
to what Jesus said. Jesus said in Mark 16:16, “He that believes and is
baptized will be saved; he that does not believe shall be condemned.” What
did Jesus say you have to do to be saved? Believe and be baptized. It’s not
the first time He said that. John 3:5, Jesus said “Unless a man is born of
water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven.”
So to be saved, to go to Heaven, Jesus said you have to be
baptized. Now that's clear, that's plain, and that's pretty simple language.
But often time when people object to that, they try to bring up the wonderful
example of the Lord's love for the thief on the cross as an example that all
you got to do is believe. Now friend the thief is not an example of salvation
today for the following reasons. Number one: I don't know for sure that the
thief wasn't baptized. Do you remember Matthew 3? The Bible says all the
regions in Jerusalem, Judea, and all the regions roundabout went out to be
baptized. Where's the thief crucified at? In Jerusalem. How do you know he
wasn’t baptized? I don't, nor do you. Someone says ‘Well the thief was
never baptized, the thief was saved, and therefore you don’t have to be
baptized to be saved. Wait a minute now! To prove that theory, you've got
to prove the thief was never baptized. Did you know that's unprovable?
Therefore that syllogism falls flat on its face in the very first part of it.
Secondly, the thief is not a good example that a person doesn't have
to be baptized to be saved, because he's living under the Old Testament
not the new. Friend the thief cannot be an example of New Testament
salvation. He died prior to New Testament Christianity and the gospel being
opened up to the Jews even. Acts 2, for the very first time the gospel is
preached and men and women are told how to be saved in the New
Testament age. What about the Old Testament? Am I going to be saved
like David, Noah, and Solomon or like others of the Old Testament? No,
those are Old Testament examples.
What age did that thief live and die under? Friend, he lived and died
under the Old Testament. The Old Testament has been nailed to the cross
Colossians 2:14 clearly teaches. And therefore if anything, he’d be an
example of Jesus’ power to save while He was on earth under the Old
Testament age. But we now have God's full revealed will under the New
Testament age, and we know exactly what Christ expects of us today. And
so from Acts 2 forward, anyone who obeys the gospel must do that
according to the Lord's teaching.
Now with that in mind, let's then look at the third statement Jesus
made on the cross. Jesus here now with one of His last statements
expresses His great love for His family. John 19:26, “When Jesus therefore
saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved, John, standing by He said
to His mother, ‘Woman behold your son.’ He said to John, ‘Son behold your
mother.’” When we think about Christ, even up to His very last breath He
was making sure His mother was taken care of. Family, especially those a
part of God's family, were indeed a priority for Christ. Why was that so?
Because God commanded it. Do you remember one of the commandments
under the old law? ‘Honor your father and mother all the days of your life.’
Did Jesus not do that right up to the end? And so, as we think practically
from this statement which indeed was an important one, we learn the
importance of family. We learn the importance of children obeying their
parents. Ephesians 6:1-4, ‘Parents bringing up their children in the nurture
and admonition of the Lord.’ We see the significance of parents taking care
of children. In Mary and John we see children taking care of their parents
and making sure, especially in the family of God, that we put one another
above all else. Mark 3:35 Jesus is at His brother’s and His mother comes to
Him. The crowd says, “Lord do you not care that your mother and brother
are asking for you?” Jesus looked around the crowd and said, “To those
who heard His word and followed Him these are My mother, my brother,
and My sisters, whoever does the will of God that's a real family.” And so,
we see the prime importance in Jesus statement of family in one's life.
Then Jesus also made this statement the one that we began with
Mark 15:34. As Jesus is on the cross and as His time is drawing near,
Jesus at the ninth hour cried out with a loud voice saying, “Eloi Eloi lema
sabachthani,” which is translated “My God, my God why have you forsaken
me?” What do I learn from this statement about the Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ? Some of the greatest ways that people around the world learn is by
question. Jesus asked a question I believe to teach us. Why did God the
Father forsake His son for a period of time on the cross?
Friend again I don't have to look far for that answer. Do you
remember the words of 2 Corinthians 5:21? The Scripture says, “God made
Christ,” listen now, “who knew no sin to become sin on our behalf that we
might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” And so 2 Corinthians
5:21, Christ became that sin offering. He took the world’s sin upon Him. Do
you remember 1 Peter 2:24? “He Himself bore our sins in His own body
upon the tree that we having died to sin might live for righteousness by
whose stripes we are healed.” And so, when Jesus asked that question,
‘God why have you forsaken me?’ He knew the answer. The answer
reminds us of our own sin that Christ bore. God made Him a sin offering, 2
Corinthians 5:21. He bore our sins in His own body. And as you remember
the Scripture records, sin separates one from God, Isaiah 59:1-2. And
Habakkuk 1:12-13 says “God is of pure eyes than to behold evil and cannot
look upon wickedness.” If Christ bore the sins of the world and became that
perfect sin offering, the propitiation for sin, no sin of His own, but willingly
became that scapegoat for sin, then my friend God had to for a short period
of time look away as that sin was taken by the Savior and while redemption
was made in sacrifice became available for us today.
And so what do I learn from this? Friend do we realize what that took
and what that meant? I believe one of the greatest things Jesus suffered on
the cross was not the agony and the pain of the physical suffering, but the
momentary separation from God. Why is that? John 17:3 Jesus prayed to
the Father, “Restore to me that which We had from eternity.” How long had
the Father and Son had that closeness, been one, never been separated?
For eternity. They’d always known the communion that fellowship that
closeness. And then Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be separated from
that. As a parent maybe you can understand. Have you ever been
somewhere and lost a child? Maybe just momentarily, you’re in Walmart
maybe, or a theme park, or the zoo and your child just slipped away for a
second? Can you can you feel that sense of loss? Can you feel that
nagging sense of ‘This can't be happening,’ the loneliness that's there?
Can you imagine how the Father and the Son must've felt when Christ said
those words, “My God my God why have you forsaken me?”
And then, let's realize the answer to that question. When Jesus
asked, “My God my God why have you forsaken me?” I need look no
further than the mirror for the answer. I'm the answer and you’re the
answer. He bore our sins in His own body upon the tree. What a powerful
teaching of Christ and His willingness to bear sin and really become the
world's greatest sacrifice!
As we think about some of the statements made by Jesus on the
cross, we now move toward one of the statements that teaches us about
the humanity of Christ. Let’s realize this, Jesus is indeed a relatable Savior,
because He faced the things that I'll have to face as well. He suffered, He
hurt, He agonized, and He faced discouragement just like we face.
Hebrews 4:15, “He was tempted all points as we are yet without sin.”
Here's one of the proofs of that. In one of the statements on the cross
Jesus in John 19:28 said, “After this Jesus knowing that all things were now
accomplished that the Scripture might be fulfilled said, ‘I thirst.’” On the
cross Jesus became thirsty. As the body was leaving Him, as the body was
winding down, as the blood was no doubt letting out, as His physical hurt
was indeed mounting up the thirst which one would naturally have in times
like these, overtook Him. Jesus cried out, “I thirst.” They gave Him sour
wine mingled with vinegar and He tasted that and didn't drink it. But
nonetheless, you see here the humanity of Christ.
Friend I want you think about this. One of the most beautiful
passages I think is found in 2 Corinthians 8:9. The Scripture records, “You
know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, though He was rich yet for your
sakes He became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich.”
Jesus was in Heaven. He left heaven, came to this earth, enclothed
Himself in humanity, and faced and suffered what I have to face and suffer.
Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who
being in the form of God did not consider it robbery made equal with God
that made Himself of no reputation taking the form of a servant coming in
the likeness of man He humbled Himself.”
God, who saves me from sin and saves you from sin, came in human
form. He really suffered. He really hurt. He really became thirsty on the
cross. And why did He do all that? Because He wanted to save His people
from sin and Satan and all that goes along with that.
Now we also mention as we think about the ultimate statements on
the cross this would be right up at the top, as Jesus is now drawing near to
His death we see that statement He makes about His fulfillment in the great
completion of God's will. Listen to the words of John 19:30, “So when
Jesus had received that sour wine, He said ‘I thirst.’ They gave Him sour
wine mingled with vinegar. When He received that sour wine He said, ‘It is
finished.’ And bowing His head He gave up His spirit.” Can you imagine
what the Lord had to go through in saying that? This had been planned
from eternity. As we said Genesis 3:15, Genesis 22:18, Genesis 49:10 all
the references in Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, this has been planned from eternity.
This was His mission. This was His purpose. Jesus said, “I came to do the
will of the Father.” Can't you sense the joy and the fulfillment in Jesus’
voice? Hebrews 12:1-2 says “Jesus for the joy set before Him endured the
cross despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the
Majesty on high.” What was that joy? The completion of God's plan. The
fulfillment of it was that joy.
Now you can think of that in earthly terms. Let’s say you’ve got a
project, something you're doing. You're looking forward to that; it’s your
mission. You’re on task and have been working on it for a period of time.
And you get to the last point, or maybe you're driving that last nail and
you’re finishing the last part of that project, and it’s completed. There is a
sense of joy and completion. You can imagine that being in the mind of
Christ as this is what God's ultimate plan from eternity has been. He could
say with such joy and fulfillment, “It is finished.” ‘We've done it! Satan has
been defeated! The world now has opportunity to salvation!’ The church
could be established. Forgiveness could be a reality. People can now be
brought back together with God, live with Him in Heaven, and Satan is
ultimately going to be defeated through all this. Look at what Christ did,
what God did, and how He went to the greatest lengths to make sure we
could be saved.
Now that final statement made on the cross expresses along with
that statement, ‘It is finished,’ the absolute submission of our Lord and
Savior. Listen to the words of Jesus as everything draws to an end in His
life. In Luke 23:46 and “When Jesus had cried out with a loud voice he said
‘Father into your hands I commit my spirit,’ having said this He breathed
His last.” All the way to the end Jesus was submissive to the Father.
Friend as I think about this great statement, what a practical
application there is for me and you. Hebrews 5:8-9 says “Jesus is the
author of salvation to all who obey Him.” Jesus said, “If you love me keep
my commandments.” Jesus clearly teaches us that whoever humbles
himself unto the mighty hand of God, he's going to be exalted in the last
day. When Jesus said in Matthew 26 in the garden, “Not my will but yours
be done,” here's the ultimate fulfillment of that. He went to the cross. He
died. And he said, “Father my spirit is now in your hands. I’m committing it
to you.” I need that type of submissive, humble, contrite attitude to really
please God. If I'm going to do what God wants me to do, I need that
submission to say, “Lord what would you have me to do?” Acts 9:4-6.
And Christ answers that question. He wants us to believe with all our
heart He is the Christ, John 8:24. He wants us to make changes in our life
where necessary, Luke 13:3. He wants us to acknowledge before the world
Jesus is the Christ the son the living God, Acts 8:37-39. Christ wants us to
be immersed in water for the forgiveness of our sins, so that the Lord can
add us to His church, Acts 2:38 and Acts 2:47.
Friend as we think about everything the Lord did for us, everything
He gave up, everything He suffered, the natural question becomes am I
willing to give up? Am I willing to sacrifice? Am I willing to submit, to follow
We urge you today if your life is not in line with the will of God, won’t
you submit to the Lord?
Please join us again as we study ‘More About Jesus.’
Study Questions for: “More About Jesus: Lesson 3”
1. In Luke 23:24 what did Jesus ask God to do?
2. According to Matthew 1:21, why did Jesus come?
3. Luke 17:3 tells us to do what?
4. Where did Jesus tell the thief that had a change of heart he would be
according to Luke 23:43?
5. According to 1 Timothy 2:4, what does God want?
6. What must we do according to John 8:24?
7. According to Luke 13:3, what must we do or perish?
8. What must we confess according to Matthew 10:32-33?
9. According to Mark 16:16, what must we do to be saved?
10. How did Jesus show His love for His family in John 19:26?