Today is commonly known as Good Friday; however, I prefer to see to this day as the day my Lord was crucified fulfilling prophecy. Reflect with me if you will on the last seven words Jesus spoke and consider what they mean to each of us individually.
Let’s begin with the phrase “Father, forgive them,” Jesus is asking His Father to forgive the persons carrying out this treacherous act. Consider this thought for a moment, Jesus asking the Father to forgive all humanity for our sins. What love! Jesus nailed to the cross from 9 AM to noon suffering excruciating pain while bearing the sins of the world expresses pure love. His second words “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (v 43) speaks of salvation to all who trust Him as Lord and Saviour. This peak to the issue of some will recognize Jesus for who He is and accept Him while desiring to spend eternity with Him while others will not make the connection or refuse to accept Him as Lord and Saviour. Jesus’ third words speak of love when He utters “Woman, behold thy son…Behold thy mother” (John 19:26-27). What is being displayed during His dying hours is Jesus expressing concerns for the welfare of His mother while leaving her in the trusted hands of someone who would care for her every need. Also, these words give children the responsibility of caring for their dependent parents.
According to scripture during the three hours of darkness from noon until 3 PM Jesus spoke no words. During those hours of darkness, history records that all of the elements went out of control as we know them to operate. The earth acted as if it was drunk; the sun refused to shine; you could say it turned its face toward heaven and looked at the Father, saying “I cannot look at Your Son die.” The moon hid itself.
About 3 o’clock Jesus began to speak what is considered spiritual words on this order, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46). This phrase depicts the separation Jesus experienced from His father as the sinner’s substitute. These words can be looked upon as the apex of Christ’s suffering for a lost world, and the Father could not look on His Son dying for all humanity’s sins. The thought of Christ dying forsaken so mankind would never be forsaken should make us all shout halleluiah--- thank God for Jesus! Next Christ addresses His physical need, again fulfilling scripture by saying “I thirst” (John 19:28); they gave Jesus vinegar to quench His thirst. From this we see again prophecy being fulfilled according to Psalm 69:21. Christ’s victory/triumph of death and sin states “It is finished” (John19:30). This phrase signified Christ’s earthly mission was complete, He had fulfilled all prophecies, He had completed the redemptive work as the sacrificial Lamb of God by the shedding of His blood as an atonement for sin, He had won a decisive victory of Satan, and He had reconciled man back to God, thus bridging the spiritual divide that once existed between humanity and God. Finally, when Christ stated “It is finished,” He committed Himself to the Father when He stated “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). At this point, Jesus gave His life over to death, and His spirit went home to the father (Psalm 31:5). Therefore, no one can say that they took Jesus’ life because He came to earth to give His life as a ransom for humanity and through all the physical agony He experienced Christ remained on the cross until the end. Jesus may have died that Friday evening, but the Saviour got up out of the grave that Sunday morning with all power.
I am glad He did what He did!