Statements that Jesus made during six agonizing hours of His crucifixion.
Being made during the central act of redemption gives these words great weight and significance. No single Gospel records all seven sayings but fit the remarks into a commonly accepted order.
Jesus’ first three remarks were made between 9:00 a.m. and noon (Mark 15:25). First, He asked forgiveness for those who crucified Him (Luke 23:34). On the cross Jesus made forgiveness possible not only for those involved in His crucifixion, but also for all who would put their trust in Him. Second, Jesus promised the penitent thief he would meet the Lord in paradise that very day (Luke 23:43), giving us insight into what happens following believers’ deaths. Third, Jesus made provision for the care of His mother by John (John 19:26–27).
Jesus’ last four statements were spoken between noon and 3:00 p.m., the final hours before His death (Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44). His fourth statement was a cry of isolation, quoting Ps. 22:1 in Aramaic (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34). This statement arose not so much from His own physical pain, but the anguish of solitarily taking upon Himself the sin of the world. His physical agony is expressed in the fifth statement, when Jesus acknowledged His thirst (John 19:28). After being given a sour drink, Jesus made His sixth statement, “It is finished” (John 19:30), a cry of victory, not defeat. Jesus was not finished, but redemption was complete. In His final words Jesus quoted Ps. 31:5 as He committed His spirit to God.
I will be reflecting on the seven Words from the cross at the Tennebrae Service at 7:00 PM on Good Friday, please join us.