Word of Life from the Cross (1)
by Fenny West
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Looking at the seven poignant revelatory statements of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, we can attest that the words that He spoke were Spirit and life Let us now ponder on and feast on the immortal words that tumbled out of the mouth of our Saviour, Who though very God, was also very man. His words are as comforting and inspirational as ever even after over 2000 years since they were first uttered.
We have the Holy Spirit, Who is here, to breathe new life into those words.
Jesus himself said, ‘The Words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.’
Come with me as we partake of fresh Bread from Heaven. John6:63 KJV
39And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
As we all know, two thieves were crucified with Jesus, one on either side. One of them joined with other who said, ‘he delivered others he could not deliver himself,…’ ’ if you are the Son of delivered yourself and us. If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. . He cast aspersions and disrespected the Saviour. The other man was more sensible. He knew Jesus was innocent and that they deserved their punishment. He rebuked his fellow criminal ‘Don’t you fear God?’ This man is innocent .He went on to ask Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom. And Jesus said:
1.“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
What is our lesson from Jesus’ statement?
God is merciful, and no matter how far gone we may think we are, all we need to do is to be humble and penitent. One o f the criminals realised he was a sinner and asked the Lord to remember him and that was enough to save him. The truth remains, that when we are full of our own ways it becomes a stumbling block to reconciliation with God. Furthermore, reconciliation with God is often made complex but it is as simple as saying, ‘Lord, I am sorry for my sins. Accept me as one of your own. Forgive me.' And that will mark a New Beginning, a fresh start on a glorious New and Living Way.
He said in His word, ‘Come as you are’ ‘ Come all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. ..Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ‘ ‘ The Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. ‘ ‘ As many as received Him, He gave the power to become children of God.’ ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old has gone and the new has come.’
2.“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” Luke 23:33-35 NKJV
Jesus was agonising on the cross with excruciating pain arising from the scourging. He had been beaten, tortured, battered, broken, abused, yet he had the time, patience and compassion to pray for those who crucified Him. He knew they were blind and acted in ignorance. He knew they were fulfilling the scriptures. He knew it was the only way He would redeem you and I and so He prayed for them. ‘Father, forgive them..’
Often we look at those who crucified Him and wonder, ‘How could they do such, cruel, barbaric deed?’ but we fail to realise that it was our sins also that necessitated his hanging on the cross. In other words, we are also guilty and it was the love of God that caused Jesus to come and die for each one of us. ‘It pleased the Father to bruise Him.’
10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. KJVIsa53:10
10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.Isa53:10NIV
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:20
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all Isa53:6
Even right now, Jesus is still praying for us at the Father’s right hand as our Advocate, Attorney and Intercessor. He always lives to make intercession for the saints. That gives you and I hope doesn’t it?
Today, we can see in various parts of the world, as it had been in times past, persecution of Christians. Many are in jail because of their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. We should be praying the same, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ We should be praying that that the eyes of their understanding be enlightened to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, just like Saul of Tarsus was converted to Paul the Apostle.
3.‘Behold your mother!’
26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home John19:26-27.
Knowing that he would be gone soon, Jesus committed his mother into the hands of one of his disciples, John, the beloved. He understood the pain that his mother was going through and had to make provision for her even on the cross. It shows us how caring and compassionate He was not just for spiritual things, but for our emotional and material well-being.
He remains the same, compassionate, faithful, true, a friend that sticks closer than a brother, good and upright, without injustice. He the Rock of Ages cleft for you and me.
He is the God who supplies all our needs according to His glorious riches through Christ Jesus, Jehovah Jireh.
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