The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross
Jesus' sayings in reference to others (the first three hours - 9 am until noon)
THE NEEDS OF OTHERS
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on
the right and the other on the left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are
doing." Dividing his garments among them, they cast lots.
He said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."
Jesus said to him, "Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
- He could have come down from the cross and commanded legions of angels come and destroy everyone. (Compare to Matthew
26:53.) Instead, he chose to stay on the cross, and asked the Father to not pour out judgment upon the people.
- Every aspect of the crucifixion contained elements that the people did not understand. Even the dividing up of the clothes had a
special significance, according to John 19:23-24. It was a fulfilment of Scripture - Ps. 22:18!
- Old Testament quoted (in John): Psalm 22:18 - They divide my garments among them. They cast lots for my clothing.
Therefore when Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his
mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" From that hour,
the disciple took her to his own home.
- A focus on the spiritual needs of others, as well as on what his death was about to accomplish.
He knew the significance of what
was happening to him.
- A focus on the physical needs of others; of taking care of his family.
Jesus' sayings in reference to himself
(last three hours - noon until 3 pm)
HIS OWN PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL AGONY
(endured for us)
About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud
voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lima sabachthani?" That
is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken
At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice,
saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is,
being interpreted, "My God, my God, why have
you forsaken me?"
- Jesus, the sinless one, became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). As such, God (the Father), in his holiness, had to turn his back on
Jesus - which represents total abandonment. The fellowship and unity that had existed between the Father and the Son, for all
eternity past, was broken.
- The spiritual anguish of being abandoned by his Father: Jesus experienced an agony so intense, that it would take all
us to experience it to the same degree as he did. (This is one reason why those who do
not accept his sacrifice will be cast
forever into the lake of fire. It will take that long for them to pay for their sins by
themselves.) Sin has horrible consequences,
even if someone else (Jesus) has to bear them.
- Old Testament quoted: Psalm 22:1 - My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and
from the words of my groaning?
After this, Jesus, seeing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I
- Jesus' physical anguish increased to an intensity that paralleled his spiritual anguish. (Thirst is just one of the aspects of this
Old Testament fulfilled: Psalm 69:21 - They also gave me gall for my food. In my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.
- Gall was a sedative used to deaden pain. It was offered to him, just before his crucifixion (Matthew 27:34), but Jesus voluntarily
refused to take it. He was willing to experience the physical pain in its fullest, in order that he would be able to
accomplish what he came to die for - namely, the salvation of all who would put their trust in him.
- They offered him vinegar just before his death. (John 19:29).
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished." He bowed his head, and gave up
- In Jesus' day, "It is finished" was a legal term. It meant that the debt was "paid in full." Here, it was in reference to a debt that
we owed, because of our sins... and it indicated that Jesus' redemptive work on the cross was completed.
- Jesus' willingness to endure the spiritual agony resulted in a spiritual
Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" Having said this, he
breathed his last.
- This would have occurred immediately after he cried out "It is finished," as he was bowing his head and giving up his spirit. Just
as his spirit had to suffer the most extreme judgment, on our behalf, so did his body.
- Three days later, we discover that this is not the end of the story. Victory would come, as he broke forth from the tomb,
physically alive again.
- Old Testament quoted: Psalm 31:5 - Into your hand I commend my
spirit. You redeem me, Yahweh, God of truth. ["Yahweh" is God's name in Old
Dennis Hinks ©
from the World English Bible (public domain)