As we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is important to know that on the cross of Calvary, our Saviour spoke seven words that addressed certain issues. The seven words are in the recorded in the four gospels which will be quoted as we read it. But it is important that we are not provided with the exact sequence in which these words of the cross were made. Therefore, I write this article with assumption in the order. Go on and read this article without unnecessary argument as to the order of arrangement.
The First Words of the Cross: The first words of the cross are recorded in the gospel of Luke.23:34, and it says, “Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do…” In this chapter, we are told of how our master Jesus prayed for those who mocked and crucified him on the cross. Of a truth, they never knew what they did. If they had known that Jesus was the true son of God, they would not had done any hurt to him. Despite the severity and pains of the torture, he still had a heart to pray that they may be forgiven. Christ has given us an example and has also given us the grace to follow. We must learn to forgive offenses no matter how hurting they might be. If we truly claim that we are Christians, then becoming like Christ should be our goal. We must learn to do just as he did and show us to do.
The Second Words of the Cross: The second words of the cross are recorded in the gospel of Luke.23:43, and it says, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise”. Here, we see the grace of God at work. It is only the grace of God that makes sinners to become saints. It is only the grace of God that justifies the condemned. At the last moments of our lives, if we can open up our lives to God and accept him into our lives, he will blot away our sins. May I draw our attention to the fact that this statement was made directly to a robber, who had been condemned to death by the world. The world may condemn us but God has not yet condemned us.
As far as there is life, God has not given up on any of us no matter how grievous our sins may be. If Saul of Tarsus was eventually converted and became a veritable instrument in the hands of God, then God can still do same. Yet, we must learn humility from the robber. He had the humility of asking for forgiveness. Eventually, he received instant forgiveness, but the other robber perished eternally in his pride. Pride leads to condemnation and fall, while humility will exalt us.
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The third Words of the Cross: The third words of the cross are recorded in the gospel of John.19:26-27, and it says, “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said unto his mother, Women, behold thy son! Then saith he unto the disciple, behold thy mother”. John and Mary followed Jesus to the very end. We must look after people who God has put in our control, no matter their predicaments. Even at the point, Mary the mother of Jesus never gave up on him, neither did she despise him. Likewise, Jesus on the dying cross never despised his mother. The welfare of his mother was still very important to him.
Although, this is not a justification to the idolatry practice of the Catholic Church in which they idolize Mary and promote her more than she her level. We must put our full trust in God because he has promised never to leave us or forsake us. He has our welfare in his heart no matter our condition. But we must the lesson from Mary and John to follow Christ at all times. All the disciples, including Peter forsook Jesus but John still decided to follow. I have decided to follow him to the very end.
The fourth Words of the Cross: The fourth words of the cross are recorded in the gospel of John.19:28 and it says, “… I thirst”. Jesus thirsted on the cross to fulfill the prophecy as recorded in Psalms.69:21. Christ was thirsty for our souls. All he thirsted for and needed at that time and even currently is to see men been reconciled to their God. In like manner, we must thirst for the will of God to be done in our lives and neighborhood. At different times, we get thirsty for certain things. My question is what are you thirsty for? A lot are thirsty for things that have no value at all, things that will soon vanish away. We must make sure that our thirst blends to the thirst of God. Then and only then can life be meaningful and profitable.
The fifth Words of the Cross: The fifth words of the cross are recorded in the gospel of Matthew.27:46, and it say, “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying Eli, Eli lamasabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Christ carried the sins and burdens of the whole world and the weight of the whole world was upon him at that time. And that led him to cry out. He could no longer keep quiet. Many times, we see how heavy our load could be upon us that sometimes, we need help to be able to carry them. Then imagine how your sins could be on Jesus. Now not just one person’s sins, but the sins of the whole world including the generations yet unborn.
The weight of the sins on Jesus made God to turn away His eyes from him because his eyes are too holy to behold iniquity. Also, Christ cried to God. We must learn to cry out to God and God only amidst of life’s circumstances, because He alone can provide solutions to us.
The Sixth Words of the Cross: The sixth words of the cross are recorded in the gospel of John.19:30 and it says, “… it is finished”. At this point, all the reasons for which Christ came into the world were fully accomplished. No stone was left unturned. We must discover the purpose for which God created us and planted us in this world. We all have a unique purpose. Therefore, we must strive to accomplish and fulfill our ministries. If we do not fulfill our assignments, we will end up disappointing God and every resource He invested into us will be a wasted and useless invested. If you have not yet discovered the purpose of God for your life and you are still alive, there is still hope for you. Go back to God for revelation.
The seventh Words of the Cross: The seventh and last words of the cross are recorded in the gospel of Luke.23:46 and it says, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”. At the end of Jesus life and ministry, he commended himself to his father. We must remember that Jesus started his ministry in God and now he is winding it up in God. We must learn to commit our lives and tasks onto the hand of God. Above all, we must commit our lives to God’s hand because he can do more with it than we can do. He who commits everything into the hands of God will see God’s hand in everything.
At this point, how I wish and pray that the death of our Lord Jesus Christ will not be in vain in your life.
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