For the first time since the first Good Friday, there is not a building for all the believer to gather, worship, mourn, and praise the Lamb of God.
For the first time since the First Good Friday, no longer are believers separated from the unbelievers on this day.
As I search YouTube for the most famous names in on Christian circuit, for Good Friday Service’ sermons, where they may have preached the Seven Last Words in the past, I found none. Now I doubt that there is none, but more likely, they are locked up in their archive of the church. If accessible, they are only available to members of their church. Yet a dying world who may have been moved to learn more by someone they listen to that minister in a song has nothing to hear.
Yet the Word in Roman 10:17 states, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing come from the Word of God.”
Where is the Word coming from today?
Who is sharing the Word at this time to a dying world?
What if God orchestrated this time to rip the invisible veil? A veil that man as placed between the believer and the unbeliever.
What if God allowed the churches to be closed during the Holiest of Week of the Christian Faith? To force Christians to stop preaching about going into the byway and the highways and actually do it.
You say we are called to be six feet apart. We are called to be sheltered in, not allowed to gather unless we live in the same household. So, what can we do today?
I repeat, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
Jesus spoke seven powerful words from that cross on that day. Words that many would ask what is the relevance to the pain they are feeling today? Pain that is making them wonder if there is a God? If the pain that they are feeling a punishment from their creator? Some wonder if this will ever end? Those that want to change but don’t know-how.
The first Word spoke from the cross recorded in Luke 23.34 when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Who would Jesus be talking about today?
To the mega Pastors preaching prosperity message and living a carnal life?
Those who publicly confess their faith in God, but only do for those that do for them?
Or would Jesus be talking to the elected officials that see the needs of those that they are elected to represent but once else elected vote, turn their back? Only operate for what is best for their own political future and bank account, often forgetting about those they sworn to protect?
Would Jesus be talking about the principal and teachers that write off the brown and black students who need a different style of instruction or teaching style?
Could Jesus be talking to parents or guardians who abuse the child under their charge, mentally, physically, emotionally, or sexually?
Lastly, could Jesus be talking to the believers that worship Him every week, but forget they are ministers called to share the gospel? Called to share God’s Word with those that are lost and broken. Those that may still walk on the road we once walk but have left.
Forgive them for they know not what they do, Jesus prays to his Father. Though He is speaking of the those that have placed Him on the cross, that blanket covered every sinner. From the disciples who deserted him to every person that cried crucified Him when He stood innocent before them.
Forgive us when we live for our flesh and not care about our neighbor. Forgive us when sex between partners is considered are recreational activities; abortions are promoted by parents; sexual molestation is swept under the rugs. Forgive us when we judge or oppress others by the color of their skins, the nationality of their heritage. Lord, forgive us when we walk as if all that we have comes through our own work and efforts. Forgive us for turning away from You and your Word.
The second Word, spoken from the cross, recorded in Luke 23:43, is, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
The beautiful thing about this scripture is that it lets you know that even on your death bed, you can still ask forgiveness and have a room in paradise. Heaven freely waits for all who believe and confess on Jesus Christ on this side of life.
The third Word spoken from the cross, recorded in John 19:26–27, is “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
There was a time the church look after widows and orphans. There was a time no one was just left on their one defense to survive or die. Jesus understood the culture at that time that it was the husband, then the son’s responsibility to care for the women in the family. In His humanity, He knew that Mary needed a human covering. After some time in the scripture, there is no mention of Mary’s husband, Joseph, or of Jesus’s siblings. But the disciple that Jesus loved was to hear his charge as well as Mary to hears hers.
Is there a child today that needs a parent or a senior today that needs someone to look after them. Can you be assistance to some now during this pandemic? Is there someone that you can assist a neighbor with a sickly child, a single mother with young children, or an elderly person who shouldn’t be going out at this time.
The fourth Word, spoken from the cross, recorded in both Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, is, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Theologians have sliced and diced this scripture in so many ways. As a student of the Bible, I can understand the separation at that time, but as a layperson. How can you explain the deity of God separating from Himself? Let’s work backward, as parents would explain to their child. When a child commits a crime, the parents are notified. Once the severity of the crime is acknowledged, the parent takes a pause. They may walk away or send the child away to compose themselves. If authority is involved, though they love their child, they turn their head or close their eyes to see their child being carried away.
In the same way, as Jesus hung on the cross with every sin you and I have or will ever do placed on him as His guilt, God, His Father could not bear to watch. Yet they asked, but Jesus is God the Son, and they are one? Yes, but Jesus set aside his deity to pick up the cross in His humanity. He became the official sacrificial offering paying the ultimate atonement for you and me.
The fifth Word, spoken from the cross, recorded in John 19:28, is “I thirst.”
This scripture stands in contrast with the ministry of Jesus’ teaching. For throughout his life, He was always the giver, yet here He is in need. With the Samaritan woman, He said told that if she knew who asked for water, she would ask Him for a drink. For Jesus is the living water for our souls, to drink from this well, we shall never be of thirst again. Yet, Jesus says He thirst. Some say it is the fulfillment of scriptures Psalms 69. For me to explain this parable of Jesus would be to recite other Pastors’ teaching. Yet I can ask, what are you thirsting for?
Today, we job hop for a larger paycheck, thinking more money will solve our problems. But mo money brings more pain. We church jump from place to place because they don’t sing the way we like, they don’t preach the way we want, they do talk the way we like. We bed hop because we don’t get the satisfaction that we craved. We craved what we can not find; we purchase item after item what brings us little value. Alcohol to medically altering our bodies to be comfortable with who we are, yet we thirst.
I offer you a cup today, to quench the thirsting of your soul. Material items or physical actions can not satisfy the spiritual desire. Your soul is asking for a connection to your creator. Let us open The Word together and drink from it’s well.
The sixth Word, spoken from the cross, recorded in John 19:30, is “It is finished.”
Jesus came into the world with a purpose and mission. A mission that started with his birth and ended with the death on the cross. A mission that gave us a path from sin to forgiveness. From death to the loving arms to our Father. Many times, a person is told that we must do this or that. They are led to believe they must give up this behavior or stop that behavior. The Word states all is required in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That is all! Jesus paid the full and total price. He just asked us to repent and believe.
The seventh Word, spoken from the cross, recorded in Luke 23:46, is, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
There is a song that lyrics reads, “You came from heaven to earth, to show the way; From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay; From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky.”
From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky. After Jesus finished His work on the cross, captured keys from hell, He returned to His Father’s side. Once again, the Father and Son were together.
At the beginning of time, the son offered to be the sacrificial lamb to atone for our sins. Sins that came into existence since the first lie was told in the Garden of Eden. Jesus knew that he would need to walk amongst us to be the living textbook of how we should live. He also knew that His blood offering would be the final offering required to atone for our sins. Once both jobs where done, Jesus knew that His spirit could return to the Father. Now He sits at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for you and me.