Faithlife Sermons

7 Sayings of Christ on the Cross-Part 1(Luke 23-Pg 1124 in Pew Bibles)

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Some have estimated that the average individual speaks enough words in a week to fill a 500 page book. I’m pretty sure that I have known a few that fill a book every day. The truth is, there are times we talk just to hear our own voices. It seems like the more we speak, the less people listen, our words become like a train on a train track that you just kinda tune out. But chances are, all of us know certain individuals who rarely speak, so when they do, the room gets quiet because everyone present is expecting to hear something profound.
That’s generally what takes place when someone you know is knocking on deaths door. More often than not every breath is a chore, and as a result words are few. Family and friends are usually brought in when the end is near, they often sit around and talk about life with their loved one, but someone is always watching the loved one, they watch the eyes, and they watch the lips. No one wants to miss the last words. There is often depth, meaning, significance, challenges and love in those last words, if the eyes open and the lips begin to move, everyone stops talking to listen. No one wants to miss the last words.
An Amazing Fact: The second and third U.S. Presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, were good friends in their youth, but after Adams was replaced by Jefferson, political disagreements separated them and they never saw each other again. They were eventually reconciled in the last 14 years of their lives and exchanged many affectionate letters. When John Adams died at the ripe age of 91, his last words were, "Thomas Jefferson still lives." But this was incorrect.
You see, at the age of 83 -- during his last hours in his home in Monticello, Virginia -- Jefferson passed in and out of consciousness. In 1826, just a few hours before Adams died, Thomas Jefferson died surrounded by friends and family. His last words were, "Is it the 4th?" After he heard, "Yes," he breathed his last. Amazingly, the final words of these two Founding Fathers were uttered on the same day, July 4th, and on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Last Words in the Bible Some of the great Bible patriarchs took special note when they saw their time was coming. They often gave a final charge or said something prophetic before they died. Joshua gathered all of Israel together and gave them the final admonition, "Be courageous!" just as Moses said before he died. And of course, Joshua added, "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve." But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15 NKJV).
Peter used his last written words to stir the church. " 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. (2 Peter 1:13, 14). Paul wrote something equally encouraging when facing execution: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
The Last Words of Jesus The final words of Jesus are especially filled with meaning for Christians. When you account for each Gospel, Jesus uttered seven statements before He died. I think seven is noteworthy, in Scripture, 7 was the number of completeness, leading us to believe that even in death, Jesus wanted to make sure His last message was complete. And because this is the Messiah, and everything He said was inspired, these final words of our Lord are of great importance. We're going to take a brief look at these phrases in the next couple weeks, and explore their spiritual significance, considering why Jesus said what He said. I trust we will learn these statements comprise a message special to each one of us.
Pastor Doug Batchelor
Let’s look at His last words together. Now as we begin to look at these last statements, I want us all to understand that no one really knows the exact order, as none of the 4 Gospels contains all 7 statements, but I will give you what most believe is the correct order.
To begin with, we see:
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The Words of Forgiveness

Luke 23:34
Luke 23:34 ESV
34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Even before His birth, it seemed the world, the world He created, wanted nothing to do with Him. You will recall just a little more than 3 months ago we looked at a Child Who was born in a cave reserved for animals and laid in feeding trough, because there was no room for Him in the Inn. Not long after that Herod sought to have Him killed. Here He was, the very Son of God, virtually unwanted by those Whom He had created in His image.
Throughout His earthly ministry, His enemies continually attempted His destruction. And now, here He was, nailed to a cross, His enemies scoffing at Him. But even beyond that, the people, many of whom had shouted Hosanna to the Son of David to Him just a few days earlier. Some of whom He had likely healed, in fact chances are all who were there that day knew or loved someone He had healed, yet still they shouted; “Crucify Him” Pilate then asked, “What about Barabbas?” With hearts filed with hate they shouted back; “Give us Barabbas.....but Crucify Him!” Moments later they shouted “His blood be on us and on our children.” Let’s not forget, there were some there that day who had taken part in beating Him so badly He no longer looked human. They’d mocked Him, struck Him when He was blindfolded and said, “Prophesy, who is hitting You.”
Now here He was, nailed to a cross, made from a tree He had created, have you ever thought about that before? Jesus knew, before that tree was even a seedling, that He would one day carry it up the the Hill called Golgatha, and be nailed to it! Crown of thorns, again these thorns came from a bush He had created, thrust so forcefully on His head it dug into His skull, looking over what most would say were His enemies, and what is the first thing we see Him say while hanging on the cross? We see Him praying. Now perhaps a prayer while facing death is not such a huge surprise, in fact even praying for your enemies may not have been so surprising. I mean I may have been praying over my enemies at that point also, but my prayer would have likely been, “God, give me strength, and judge my enemies for all eternity.” But that wasn’t Jesus prayer.
From the cross He prayed that God would forgive them.
Arthur Pink writes; “The fell deed has been done. No ordinary death would suffice His implacable foes. A death of intense suffering and shame was decided upon. A cross had been secured: the Savior had been nailed to it. And there He hangs – silent. But presently His pallid lips are seen to move – is He crying for pity? No. What then? Is He pronouncing malediction upon His crucifiers? No. He is praying, praying for his enemies – “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do”.
The first of seven Cross – sayings of our Lord presents Him in the attitude of prayer. How significant! How instructive! His public ministry had opened with prayer Luke 3:21, and here we see it closing in prayer. Surely He has left us an example! No longer might those Hands minister to the sick, for they are nailed to the cross, no longer may those Feet carry Him on errands of mercy, for they are fastened to the cruel tree; no longer may He engage in instructing the apostles, for they have forsaken Him and fled; – how then does He occupy Himself? In the Ministry of prayer! What a lesson for us.”
But our lessons from the cross don’t end with amazement at His prayer for mercy on His crucifiers. There is another lesson I don’t want us to miss.
If you were here a few weeks ago when we were looking at the Spiritual Discipline of Evangelism, you may recall that you were given an assignment. The assignment was to write down the names of 3 people that you were going to commit to praying for, praying for their salvation. Perhaps as you were thinking about who to put on your list, one or two of the names you decided to not include on your list, thinking there was no hope for them, they were just too far gone, beyond hope of salvation. I’d like to challenge you to re-think your decision to not include them. Think through those at the foot of the cross, do I need to review all they had done in the hours leading to this moment? Believe me, chances are we would have all left them off of our list as beyond hope! Yet if you look in your Bibles to the book of Acts, you see 3,000 of them, many if whom had called for His crucifixion, people who would have been on our beyond hope list, trusting in the crucified One. No one is beyond hope, so pray on and put them back on your list.
Can I point out one more lesson on His prayer we need to take hold of? Scripture gives no indication whatsoever, that there was s single individual at the foot of the cross seeking His forgiveness. Why is it we feel like we don’t have to forgive until forgiveness is asked for? Do you see that in Jesus on the cross? And let’s be honest with one another today, have any of us been wronged like Jesus? Can I have a show of hands this morning? How many of you have been nailed to a cross? Christ-like forgiveness does not require an apology, it is freely given. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that the relationship goes back to exactly the way it was before, but we don’t have to wait for them to change and seek forgiveness to forgive. Lack of forgiveness, harboring bitterness, does far more damage to us than it does to the one who has wronged us.
This brings us to the 2nd of the 7 statements of Christ from the cross: Next Slides

The Word of Salvation

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Luke 23:43
Luke 23:43 ESV
43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The verses leading up to this are key, starting in verse 39 we read:
Luke 23:39-42

39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

By the way, don’t forget that it was written earlier of this criminal: Next Slide
Mark 15:32
Mark 15:32 ESV
32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
In this thief on the cross, we see a couple key things here I don’t want us to miss.
First, we see: Next Slides
True Repentance.
Earlier this criminal had railed on Jesus, but something in him had changed and he came to recognize 3 important truths. Next Slide
He was getting exactly what he deserved.
Jesus was getting the opposite of what He deserved.
Jesus was headed to an eternal Kingdom where He ruled supreme.
The next key here I want to make sure we don’t miss is, we get a clear view of:
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Victorious Grace.
If you get nothing else this morning, please don’t miss this!
“In the presence of a perfectly Holy God, you and I are no different than the thief on the cross. We are in desperate need of the Victorious Grace from the only One in all of heaven Who still has scars.”
The victorious grace the thief on the cross experienced that day, is the same victorious grace we receive when we, like the thief, acknowledge our sin, repent, and turn our lives over to the Supreme Ruler of heaven.
Ephesians 2:8 makes it very clear:
Ephesians 2:8
Ephesians 2:8 ESV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
It is the Victorious Grace of Jesus that saves us, our job is to accept the gift of that grace, repent of our sins, then commit to living for Him.
Our next assignment is to live a life His light shines through, and share His Victorious Grace with others.
Let’s commit to doing these things together?
Closing Prayer
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