The 7 Sayings of Christ from the cross
1. A word of Forgiveness – Luke 23v34
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
Note the word “Then” – Christ prayed this prayer when man had done his worst to Him.
- Christ’s love for sinners (Romans5v8)
- All sinners need God’s forgiveness (Psalm 130v3-4)
- Christ prayed for His enemies (Matthew 5v44)
- His prayer fulfilled prophecy (Isaiah 53v12)
- God answered on the Day of Pentecost when 3000 were saved (Acts 3v17)
2. A word of Salvation – Luke 23v43
Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise.
Note both thieves had reviled the suffering Saviour – Matthew 27v44 – but one repented and the other did not.
Christ said these words in response to one thief’s repentance and faith.
- The dying thief admitted his sin
- He knew that he deserved to die
- He confessed Christ is sinless
- He looked to Christ for salvation
- He made Christ his Lord
Only the saved go to be with Christ at death.
3. A word of Affection – John 19v25-27
Woman, behold thy son!
Behold thy mother!
John the beloved disciple had returned to the cross cp. Matthew 26v56
Christ did not rebuke John but gave him a special work to do.
- Mary stood by the cross
- The pain in her heart was prophesied by Simeon (cp. Luke 2v35)
- Christ called her ‘woman’, not ‘mother of God’
- Christ honoured his mother by seeing that she would be cared for
- John took Mary to his own home from that hour.
Christ was then to enter into the 3 dark hours of agony for our sins.
4. A word of Anguish – Matthew 27v46
My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?
There was supernatural darkness from the 6th to the 9th hour (i.e. 12.00 noon to 3.00pm).
Christ cried these words at the 9th hour “with a loud voice.”
Death had not conquered Christ but Christ was willingly yielding Himself to it.
- Christ was forsaken by God because of our sin
The wages for our sins was death (Romans 6v23). This meant separation from God.
- The darkness showed God had forsaken Christ
God is Light (1 John 1v5). God is so Holy that He hates all sin and cannot look upon it (Habakkuk 1v13).
God left Christ all alone to bear away our sins.
- He suffered the undiluted wrath of a sin-hating God.
God is Just and therefore must punish sin. Nahum 1v6
God “spared not His own Son” when He hung in the sinner’s place.
Christ was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5v21).
He was “smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53v4 cp Lamentations 1v12)
- Christ willingly suffered as our Substitute
God is Love and therefore sent His Son to be our Substitute (John 3v16).
“The LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53v6).
Christ had the power to come off the cross but He stayed there because He loved us.
- Christ was forsaken by God for a time that we might enjoy His presence forever.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2v3)
5. A word of Suffering – John 19v28
Christ spoke these words immediately after His 4th saying – cp. Matthew 27v48.
- These words show Christ was human.
- Christ’s thirst was the effect of His suffering in the heat of God’s wrath.
- Christ spoke these words to fulfil prophecy (Psalm 69v21).
- Christ was in full possession of all His physical faculties.
Christ understands our deepest suffering.
6. A word of Victory – John 19v30
It is finished
These words are spoken immediately after Christ had received the vinegar.
They are not the words of a helpless martyr whose life was worn out.
No! They are words of triumph from the One who had finished the work he came to earth to do.
What was finished?
- His suffering on the cross was finished
- He had finished fulfilling all the prophecies concerning His death
- He had finished satisfying Divine justice
- The sacrifice for sin was finished
Hebrews 10v11-13 cp Hebrews 10v18+26 – “there is no more offering for sin”; “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”.
The price for sin had been paid in full. There is nothing to be added to it. God is satisfied. Are you?
7. A word of Contentment – Luke 23v46
Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit
- Christ is again in communion with His Father
- Christ had to taste death (Hebrews 2v9) but He died yielding Himself into the hands of His Father
- Christ gave up His life – it was not taken from Him.
John 10v17-18 contrast Acts 7v59
- Christ willingly laid down His life for us.
- Christ reverently bowed His head and gave up the spirit.
- Christ chose the time of His death to fulfil scripture.
- God tore the veil of the temple to show the work was finished.
- The graves were opened to show Christ’s power over death.
This outline is based on the book ‘The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross’ by Arthur W. Pink. I recommend that you read this book for yourself. It will help you get a deeper appreciation of what Christ did for us at Calvary.