The stage was set. The night was dark. The forces of evil, visible and invisible, viciously swarmed upon One Man. Not just any man, but the One who carried the weight of the world on His back. He is the only Man who with just one word could have instantly eradicated all His foes—for He was the One Person who had the Word of God naturally flowing through Him. In fact, He was the very Word of God (John 1:1).
But He opened not his mouth. Not a single sermon from the Greatest Teacher of all time who taught for three years in synagogues, on boats, atop mountains, and across the Galilean countryside. Nothing but deafening silence was heard from the One who when He spoke, “the blind saw, the lame leapt, the leper was healed, and the dead were raised.” Yet, He spoke not a word in His own defense—the chief priests, the Sanhedrin, Herod, Pilate, the mob, or the soldiers.
Barely a word was spoken throughout—the Betrayal, the Interrogation, the Trial, the Questions, the Scourging, the Torture, the Mocking, the Insults—only profound silence all the way to the place of the Skull.
“And He bearing His Cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha.” (John 19:17). And then, He opened His mouth.
Seven Words of Life He cried,
Seven Words with His last breath.
Seven Words as Jesus died,
Seven Words of Life from the Tree of Death.
As blood flowed from His wounds, life flowed from his words; beginning with
“A Word of Prayer.” “Then said Jesus, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’” (Luke 23:34 KJV). Remarkably, the Savior’s final seven sayings start with prayer. After all the torture, flogging, abuse and grueling ascent to Calvary’s hill, Christ prays. In history's darkest moment He finds himself in prayer’s familiar light. He prays a prayer of forgiveness. “Have you found the healing power of forgiveness? Have you forgiven those who have wronged you?
Then He speaks “A Word of Pardon.” “And he (the repentant thief on the cross next to Jesus) said unto Jesus, ‘Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.’
And Jesus said unto him, ‘Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’” (Luke 23:42,43 KJV).
Two thieves asked for pardon, but only one thief was saved. ?While his broken body was suspended high in the air, his broken heart was bowed low before the Lord of Glory. Do you, like the lowly thief, see your need of divine pardon?
Next Jesus speaks “A Word of Paternity.” “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, ‘Woman, behold thy son!’ Then saith he to the disciple, ‘Behold thy mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:26, 27 KJV). Profound and unrelenting grief awaits the mother who loses a son. It’s often said, “No parent should have to bury their own child.” Imagine the pain Mary was forced to endure, watching her son die—and in the most brutal of deaths. Yet God’s invisible hand was at work. Miraculously, while Jesus’ physical body was being torn, His spiritual body was being formed right there in front of Him. How are you expressing Christ paternal care for those in need around you?
He then follows with, “A Word of Pain.” “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34 KJV).
Observe the Cross where ALL the darkness—separation, rejection, wrath, and Hell—aimed like an arrow at the heart of sinners, is now fully absorbed by the Friend of Sinners. The “Light of the World” hangs abandoned—enveloped in a world of darkness. Have you looked to Him in your darkest moment of pain?
“A Word of Passion” follows. “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, ‘I thirst’” (John 19:28 KJV). Here hanging on the brink of death we hear the source of “Living Water” cry, “I thirst.” Having experienced an intense level of pain prior to His crucifixion, the Man of Sorrows must now endure a greater agony on the Tree of Death. It was a physical pain so notorious that the word “excruciating” is derived from the Latin word “crucis,” meaning “cross” or “crosslike.”
When's the last time you reflected on the scope of Christ's suffering for you?
Nearing His appointed time, He speaks “A Word of Perfection.” “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, ‘It is finished’” (John 19:30 KJV). Here we see the infinite embodiment of achievement. The “author and finisher” or our faith has “endured the cross” (Heb: 12:2). “Behold the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Have you found completion in His finished work?
Enduring insufferable pain, He speaks “A Word of Peace.” “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit’: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost” (Luke 23:46 KJV). Jesus died as He lived, depending upon His Father.
He rested in peace so that we could rest in the supernatural peace of God—both in life and death. And though he rests, He will Rise on the third day.
Miraculously, the Savior's seven sayings were “dying” words and NOT “last” words on that first Good Friday. Such was the profound truth I first experienced on an Easter morning years ago in old historic outdoor sunrise service. I was only a young boy warmly bundled in my parents embrace. Suddenly, at the crack of dawn, there sounded from a lone voice High above the crowd: “The Lord is Risen!” These words were met with a much louder response: “The Lord is Risen indeed!”
Good words on a Good Friday, and Easter morning.
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