1. A Word of Mercy: The prayer for forgiveness to the Father – “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Lk. 23:34). Think of a family member, friend, or co-worker that has wronged you. Take practical steps to either pray, write a letter, or sit down and show them the mercy that Christ has shown you.
2. A Word of Grace: The promise to the criminal confessing sin – “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise” (Lk. 23:43). This example reminds us that the most vile of criminals can be saved from God’s wrath. Don’t grow weary sharing your faith because in due time, God may convict and save the hardened individual you are witnessing to. This statement also gives us hope that the sufferings of this present world will not be worthy to compare with the glory that is to come.
3. A Word of Compassion: The conversation with His mother – “Woman, behold your Son! Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!” (Jn. 19:26-27). Jesus demonstrated His love towards His biological mother, reassuring her that everything is okay. As Christians, it’s our privilege to inform and comfort others, reminding them that God works together for good to those who are called according to His purposes.
4. A Word of Anguish: The cry of separation from the Father – “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Mk. 15:34). The mystery of this separation communicates the vileness of sin. When Christ died in our place, The Father turned His back on the Son and unleashed the wrath of God. However, it pleased Yahweh to do this because it was the only way for mankind to be reconciled to a Holy God; for Christ to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins. Meditate on this truth for a moment. God was willing to separate Himself from the greatest love, His own Father, to redeem sinful men and women like ourselves. This should resort in singing praise to His great name!
5. A Word of Need: The acknowledgement of thirst to the soldiers – “I thirst!” (Jn. 19:28). This specific reference indicates that Jesus was not only fully God, but He was fully Man. He had the need to drink something because of the agony He was experiencing was real. How does this theological truth help you understand the nature of Jesus Christ, the God-Man?
6. A Word of Victory: The cry of victory to the world – “It is finished!” (Jn. 19:30). The Lord promised shortly after the fall in Genesis 3 that He would crush the head of the serpent. He pronounced the truth that the Kingdom of Heaven has overcome the domain of darkness. Since we are on the winning side, what should our attitude in life be?
7. A Word of Trust – The cry of deliverance to the Father – “Father, into your hands I commit My spirit” (Lk. 23:46). The last sentence that Jesus uttered showed the unwavering trust He had with His Father. He knew that the Father would rescue Him and highly exalt Him. When your final breath comes, are you confident that your spirit will enter the presence of God? I hope so!
Reference: John MacArthur The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Nelson Publishers, 2005), p.1260.