May 16, 2021

The Last Seven Words of Christ 02-04-2021

2nd April 2021
Good Friday Service
Title: The Last Seven Words of Christ
By Heeyoung Lim

1. Luke 23:32-35
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Forgiveness is Christ’s way in every situation of life. Jesus had proven his ability to forgive sins in his healing and salvation ministry (5:24). He had taught that forgiveness comes only to those who forgive others (6:37; 11:4) and that forgiveness has no limits (17:4). He had called for love of enemies (6:27-28). He watched those who mocked and crucified him, but he forgave and prayed for them. (34)
2. Luke 23:39-43
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (42) Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (43)
One of the criminals who hung there insulted at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” He will be with Jesus in paradise. Jesus has a place in paradise for believers, He is leading us to the Kingdom of God.
3. John 19:25-27
“Dear woman, here is your son” & “Here is your mother” (26-27)
Looking down Jesus said, “Woman, here is your son.” It means, “I am no longer your son. But then he said to the beloved disciple, “Here is your mother.” What is Jesus saying? “Mother, I’m giving you a new son. Son, I’m giving you a new mother.” Jesus was forming a new family on the cross. Jesus said to His disciples before He complete His mission on earth. “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you,”
Jesus tells us on the cross at His moment of deepest grief, Jesus is calling us to live as if strangers are our brothers and sisters. From that hour the disciple took her to his own home. Church is where we are gathered with first time strangers in Jesus’ name, and called to look after brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus was telling His disciples about new family on the cross and He wanted us to love and look after each other as whole new church family.
Our families are a wonderful source of love and grace for us, but sometimes tragic stuff happens in our families. Mary suffered from the most painful moment watching her son of the cross. We may also see our suffering family members at the cross as Mary experienced before. However, we have a new family in Christ looking after each other.
4. Mark 15:33-34
 Jesus cried with a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (34)
The darkness lasted for three hours from the time Jesus was crucified until the moment of his death. This darkness of the skies expressed the agony and grief of heaven over the death of the Son of God. The darkness at Calvary was an announcement that God’s beloved Son was giving his life for the sins of the world.
Jesus made seven key statements when He hung on the cross. Mark recorded just one, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus cried out in agony as he bore the sins of the world and was separated from his Father for the first time. Jesus expressed the pain of abandonment by God. Yet, in all this pain Jesus just submitted to God’s will. Jesus is our Saviour who gave His life for us. Jesus fulfilled His mission through his death on the cross and separation from his Father. Jesus, the sacrificial servant, completed His mission by enduring injustice, abuse, crucifixion, and death.
5. John 19:28-29
“I am thirsty.” (28)
All the steps that brought Jesus to the pain and death were in the design of His heavenly Father. The cry I am thirsty refers to Psalm 69:21. “Enemies poisoned my food, and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar.”
If we were too much busy with difficult tasks at work and intense sports or conversations with someone, we may suddenly feel exhausted or become thirsty. Jesus went through this in a far much more intense way than the experience of any of us during those three hours of darkness on the cross. He had been forsaken by God; He had experienced the suffering even to the last breath. He felt the pain both spiritually and physically. They offered Jesus to drink, but He refused to do it at the first, He asked for a drink later. (Mt 27) He suffered from dehydration more than anyone, He tried to keep His clear mind and aware of what He was doing for people’s salvation on the cross. He knew he was about to die. He felt pain and thirst when He shed blood for six hours on the cross.
6. John 19:30
 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus gave one last cry. ‘It is all done.’ ‘It is complete.’ He has finished the work that the father had given him to do. He has loved to the very end; he has accomplished the final task. Jesus’ work is now complete. Jesus did not stop His ministry for us until it is all done, but we shamefully often hesitate or stop our love and mission. I hope we will do our mission given by God until the very end, and I pray that we can say “It is all done.” Before God.
7. Luke 23:46-49
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (46) And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 
Jesus expressed His faith and relationship to God through His last word. He breathed his last and died. Life left his body. However, the centurion praised God, he heard Jesus’ promise to the thief and his commitment of himself into the Father’s hands. Admitting that Jesus is righteous is more than a fact. It is a form of praise, of worship, for it brings glory and honor to God. This is what proper response to Jesus. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” I hope the cry of Jesus will be our daily prayer and faith confession.
We cannot treat the cross lightly because we are in the last seven words of Christ. Jesus did nothing to deserve a criminal’s death, but He died for us on the cross. We became a part of His Kingdom. Jesus taught us forgiveness is Christ’s way in our lives. I hope we can forgive others, no matter what they have done to us. We have hope in God’s hands. I hope we can take our stand on Scripture and fulfill what Jesus wants us to do. I believe that we can be sure that we have trusted Jesus and have a place in His Kingdom. I hope and pray we praise God for all He has done for us on the cross and live in expectation of the Kingdom of God and the hope of resurrection.

Thanks be to God! Amen!

(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)