The last Seven Words of Jesus of Nazareth that day on the cross were more than just words of convenience, they were prophetic words of Christ that would become encouragement to all who believe each day until the Last Day.
The First: a Prophetic Word Of Forgiveness
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
This was Jesus’ response to all the mockery, abuse, hate and evil thrown at Him. This was the tremendous love of God. He first loved us even before we loved Him. We are saved because of His forgiveness. It was His forgiveness that begun everything for us in this Christian journey.
The Second Prophetic Word
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)
Jesus spoke to the criminal hung beside Him. Because of His forgiveness, we are saved. We now have the assurance of eternal bliss as we continue to walk with Him who never leaves us nor forsakes us but is with us always.
(Read more about the profound message of the good thief for us all in Which Thief Are You?)
The Third Prophetic Word
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27)
At a very difficult time, in agony, Jesus didn’t fail to undertake His responsibility. He made sure that not only the physical well-being being of His natural mother was taken care of but that our spiritual well-being would continue to be guided through her motherly care as Jesus gave her to his disciples to be a mother to them and to us.
We have experienced His forgiveness. And we have experienced the hope of our salvation. Our life is changed. We have a new character. We are no more ruled by selfishness and escapism, we become a responsible person benefiting others around us. We are not just disciples but family. One body in Christ.
The Fourth Prophetic Word
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34)
At the cross, Jesus was separated from God the Father for the first time ever. He was separated so that you will never have to experience that separation. Do you treasure your relationship with God? Is your relationship with God, very important, to you?
God said: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
We are invited to ask questions so that we might obtain the fulfillment of our desires. How are you at asking? Asking questions, asking for help, asking for provision, etc. Wisdom comes when we are brave enough to ask for it. Seekers ask.
The Fifth Prophetic Word
Later, knowing that everything had now been accomplished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. (John 19:28-29)
We share in the suffering of Jesus. He was thirsty and they ministered to Him. We share in His suffering by serving Him. When we are helping a disciple of Jesus, we are helping Jesus. What is He urging you to do in the service to others?
We become part of the work of the cross by helping others to experience the same love. Will you share and tell His love to others? How thirsty are you for the fulfillment of your mission in Christ? How will you help others encounter Him, the lamb who was slain to purify the world?
The Sixth Prophetic Word
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)
God has a particularly special purpose, a type of ministry, for us. We individually have a divine work to do while we are here on earth, a work which is tailor-made by God for us. There is a divine plan, we will have to find it, and fit in.
Jesus finished the work that the Father had given Him to do. We have a God-ordained legacy to leave behind. Can you say like Jesus that “it is finished” before you die? Will you complete the life task given to you?
The Seventh Prophetic Word
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)
When we depart the earth after we have finished our life task, God will take care of everything for us from then on. We commit everything to Him without worry or fear, knowing that He knows just how to reward us and His judgment is always righteous and fair. No more toils or tears in that everlasting future. We enter into eternal relaxation resting in the Father’s hands. We have no fear of death or dying because we know where we are going. We are in fact eager in someway to joyfully detach from this life like the saints have proclaimed to us saying upon their passing as did Saint Pope John Paul II, “Let me go to the Father’s House.” We can say willfully, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
HIS SIDE was pierced, water and blood gushed out. It speaks of OUR EMOTIONS. Let’s surrender our emotions to Him. Jesus, I trust in you.
A crown of thorns was forced down on HIS HEAD, His blood trickling down his face and His hair was wet with His blood. It speaks of OUR THOUGHTS. Let’s surrender our thoughts to Him. Jesus, I trust in you.
HIS BACK was whipped with hooks, pieces of flesh broke open. He carried the cross on His back. We wear our accomplishments and achievements on our back, we carry loads and burdens on our back. Let’s surrender OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS or LOAD AND BURDENS to Him. Jesus, I trust in you.
HIS HANDS were nailed to the cross. Let’s give Him what we do. Jesus, I trust in you.
HIS FEET were nailed. Let Him order our walk, where we go. Jesus, I trust in you.
He was BEATEN. Let’s give Him our hurts and pains. Jesus, I trust in you.
He was RIDICULED AND HUMILIATED. Let’s give Him our pride and reputation. Jesus, I trust in you.
“To many, the Passion of Jesus Christ is a lesson in history where we sympathize with Christ for the sufferings he went through before he died. We find it hard to believe how the people can be so cruel as to inflict the most severe form of pain on a man who we know was innocent. For Christians the Passion should be more than a lesson in history. It should become a lesson in life, teaching us how to stand up for truth and justice.” – Pope Francis