The time has come for the Son of God to bear the sin of humanity. His disciples are in awe of His words. They were told what was going to happen next. Still it was hard for them to believe. Jesus Christ was their Master but then He had to accomplish His great mission.
Jesus Christ prayed in the garden of Gethsemane; His soul exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. “Let this cup pass from me, O my Father, if possible, nevertheless not as my will, but as you will.”*
In short, He was sentenced to death by the so-called righteous. Jesus Christ was condemned by the righteous. He was tortured, bored His cross to Calvary. He was lifted up on the cross, naked and humiliated.
Jesus Christ carried the sin of humanity with Him, so that we may live. I wanted to take you back to Mount Calvary to show empathy with His words. I want to list out His last words as Jesus Christ was being crucified on the cross:
Here is your mother (John 19:27)
He saw His mother weeping at His feet. He entrusted the disciples to take care of His mother, as He was on a mission. Love for His mother as a human must be there. He was very much concerned with what His mother has gone through. Can you see the emotional pain both would have experienced at this time?
Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)
Vengeance is mine, declared the Lord. But still, Jesus Christ seeks forgiveness for the evildoers to His Father. The ‘evil inside us’ caused us to do things we don’t even understand. Did you imagine what causes the human race to do such cruelty on another human being? That needs to be conquered. This is the height of forgiveness that we are being offered or we can enjoy because of the sacrifice of the Son of God Himself.
Truly I tell you; today you will be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)
Jesus Christ was hanged between two thieves, who were crucified because of their own sin. He spent his whole life with the outcasts, tax collector, prostitutes, and the downtrodden people. To the two thieves, the law of the mankind had awarded them death. Earthly beings cannot grant you life apart from death. But here, the thieves had their golden chance for life, which the other still denied. It marked the width of God’s mercy and salvation.
Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani. (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?) (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)
When Jesus Christ bore the sin of humanity, the weight of sin was too much to bear. God did not love sin. Many times, we feel forsaken when we sinned. The loneliness we experience, the emptiness was all because of sin. Atonement for our sin was made by the blood of Jesus Christ. In sufferings, if God is by your side you will find solace. It signifies how sin had distance us from God.
I am thirsty. (John 19:28)
He was a human being. He was dehydrated, lip parched. These words reminded me of the conversation between Jesus Christ and the Samaritan woman.* Jesus Christ told her; whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. The source of living water was drying up for you. By His thirst we became welled up.
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. (Luke 23:46)
In His sufferings, Jesus Christ shows the model of prayer. Into yours I commit myself, use me, shape me, and mold me, to be useful for you. I surrender all. I surrender all my beings to you. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.** In happy and in hard times, in sickness and in health, I place my life at your hands.
It is finished. (John 19:30)
Jesus Christ uttered these words. God in the flesh breathe His last. A powerful word of victory has been declared. He offered himself fully to God on behalf of mankind. This is the word that changed the world. The fortune of the world was overturned, for those who believe in. A plan was fulfilled, salvation was made possible.
Now, many of those who are present and taking part in the scene did not recognized what was really happening. Some cast lots for His cloth. Some saw the unusual things as they unfolded. They stood at His feet facing Him. Just one person, the centurion, was recorded saying, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.”
Please consider these few questions: Where did you stand? Did you believe Him? Are you still a bystander near the cross? Does it mean anything to you? Are you among the righteous that condemned Him?
*Matthew 26:42, John 4, Romans 12:1, Mark 15:39