Read Luke 23:32-38 32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

The Last Seven Word of Jesus – The magnitude of the moment of the cross in universal history cannot be overstated. Everything in Jesus’ life led up to it. The cross was the reason He was born in poverty, amid the laments of Rachel weeping for her children, slaughtered by Herod’s ruthless soldiers. The experience of His entire life of becoming acquainted with our deepest sorrows was simply the prelude to this final moment. The fundamental proof of His incarnation, along with blood, was His tears. When the Man of Sorrows was being most used by God, He was lamenting.

There are seven excruciating pieces of this final puzzle – the last words of Jesus from the cross. You will notice that they are all short, gasping phrases. You must understand that in order to utter them, Jesus had to push up on the nails in His feet in order to draw a shallow breath. Once each of these seven statements was made, the full weight of His body fell back onto the nails in His hands. These seven last words make up Jesus’ final lament.

We will look for a progression as Jesus moves deeper and deeper into the misery our sin caused him to suffer. At first He will reach out, calling God, “Father.” Toward the end it will simply be “My God.”

Notice that His eyes are on others – not Himself. He forgives the Roman soldiers who are nailing Him to the cross. He forgives the criminal who asks His forgiveness. He thinks of His mother and of His disciple John. Never Himself.

Jesus’ last statements were scattered throughout a 6-hour ordeal. During the final 3 hours, He was covered in darkness. It must have been like the “darkness that cannot be felt” of the Passover (Exodus 10:21). Luke says the sun simply quit shining. Darkness. Gasping phrases punctuated by lengthy silences. Unutterable pain. A sight that would have sickened even a stranger. That’s the setting of the seven last words of Jesus. Try to hear them as you have never heard them before.
-Michael Card-

Responding – What adjectives would I use to describe the setting of the crucifixion?
Following – Seek to hear His voice.

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