7 Sayings on the Cross

Good Friday Sermon – 7 Sayings of the Cross.


Close your eyes, and picture this. People you know have plotted to kill you. You’re accused, captured by the cops, they have their way with you. You are beaten, scourged, stripped, then a crown of thorns placed on your head. They force it onto your forehead, blood flowing and dripping down your brow, blocking your eyesight.

Then a heavy wooden beam placed upon your shoulders (about 50kgs) which made part of the cross. You’re kicked, whipped and abused and made to carry this down a dusty, stony road. You stumble, you fall, you’re forced to get up, the people around you spit on you, curse you. You get whipped time after time. Finally, you get to the place where you’re emanate death awaits.

Nails are hammered into your hands and feet. You’re then pulled up and left to hang by the weight of your body hinged off just 3 nails. Every breath uses the sum of all your muscles & sinews in your body. Every breath could be your last. You can open your eyes.

Welcome to your cross! One you need not take, one you need not carry, one you need not bear. For it was sin that brings us here. Sin that put Jesus there. Our sin that killed the Son of God.

A price we could never bear, nor ever pay. It is at the foot of the cross where we find ourselves this morning, looking at Jesus our Lord and Saviour, and getting to know Him, even in such pain and agony He speaks. Let’s listen in, to what Jesus says on the cross.

There were seven sayings that Jesus uttered on the cross, I intentionally rearranged them to bring a very different angle.

The chronologically order is attached below

The first point and 4th saying is:

1.   “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Mark 15:34 (4th).

How many of us have felt forsaken. We’ve being through the mill, the aches and pains the tragic and the dramatic. Life’s woes & lows. We have bled, we feel pain & anguish, we come to that breaking point where all we do is cry out God why, God why, God why have you forsaken me.

Jesus felt an unusual loneliness. Night and day consistently Jesus would talk to the Father, or He be doing the fathers work, or He’ll be exalting and praising the Father. In spite of all Jesus had been through it was here the darkest moment of His life. And the darkest moment of all of history.

Jesus felt a deep sense of emptiness. I want you to understand that even you, no matter how good and obedient a Christian you are or being, we will also come to this place of vulnerability a place where you feel as if nothing ever plays out in your favor, that God has forsook you.

It’s obviously not the same as Jesus’ but you also cry out like Jesus my God my God why have you forsaken me. In Jesus’ life we see that He in no way or circumstance deserved this. However, we did deserve it, Jesus said if anyone looks with hate towards a brother or sister is a murderer and is subject to judgement, if we looked with lust we have committed adultery. We all have sinned in some shape or size; we all have fallen short of the glory of God and the standard of God.

So, we do deserve God’s punishment, and if God did forsake us, which He never will. He will be well within His right. But God never does that in fact this is the reason Jesus felt this way and said what he said.

It is because Jesus was taking your place. He was the substitute for our sins, the judgement and the wrath of sin was all on him. The weight of sin, shame, condemnation, judgement, all hung upon Jesus.

My God My God, why oh, why have You forsaken me?

God in His supreme justice, essence and nature cannot tolerate nor stand sin. He never forsakes Jesus, but God’s wrath of justice was taking place. And you know what? His son was the subject of His wrath and judgment. God’s wrath was being unleashed on Jesus’ body for your sake and my sake.

So never make a mistake to underestimate the fate of our sinful state.

Don’t try to fabricate another saving grace to replace the one amazing grace which is our Saviours embrace and turn it into a cheap case of worldly disgrace.

Let us rather acknowledge His plight as the ultimate price for our souls delight so we can enter through the pearly gates for Our Saviour Saves.

Every time or any time you feel God has forsaken you, look to Jesus and know God is in control – for there is a Sunday that’s coming.

2. “I am thirsty.” John 19:28 (5th).

Being thirsty is a natural and physical feeling. Last time Jesus ate or drank was the night before, ‘the last supper’ as we call it. His being through Gethsemane, taken to the court room then to another then another then back, sent for flogging, dragged along the road to the cross.

His body is at its absolute limits. He says I am thirsty. We see Jesus:

Philippians 2:6-8 – Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!

Here is Jesus who is fully God and fully man. Says He thirsts. Further indicating the intimate understanding on the subject of pain and suffering.

You know what I found very interesting here. How man responds. The soldiers give him a bitter/sour drink. An act showing no kindness, no mercy, no compassion, that’s the cruelty of the cross. It is also the cruelty of life here on earth. How many times we see so much injustice going around in our midst. It is clear to see who suffers the most. It is always those who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic class, the chronically poor, and vulnerable find themselves getting kicked further down.

Civil and social societies try and make their plea for the oppressed and poor but end up having to go through so much red tape, terms and conditions, and having to deal with corruption, that they can never get a break-through.

The business you wanted to start gets overwhelmed by all the paperwork, applications, certificates, standards, and requirements, you end up asking can I ever climb up this socioeconomic ladder.

You lose your job, so you borrow money from a friend or the bank, eventually digging yourself deeper and deeper in debt, that when you finally get a job, the money simply isn’t enough. You move from one relationship to another then to another, eventually being either alone or in an even worse relationship. You’re never able to find anything that satisfies your thirst.

Jesus says I thirst. He is calling for a drink amongst all that He is experiencing, looking for drink to satisfy His thirst. Being at his lowest just to further become an object of ridicule and mockery to the soldiers and those around.

No one sees the sacrifices you make. It’s only met with ridicule and mockery. No one saw the sacrifice Jesus was enduring, they just acted out in ridicule and mockery toward Him.

We all thirst out of exasperation and desperation. Even Jesus said I thirst, I believe He was seeking after the Holy Spirit to bring Him comfort, to quench an unbearable fire that was consuming his very being.

Many of us don’t see the limits Jesus went to for us. Rather it’s met with contempt, doubt/scepticism, and a hard heart. Jesus knows what you are going through, and experienced it himself, and like the woman at the well in John 4:10,12. He tells her if you asked me, I would give you living water. Whoever drinks the water I give, they will never thirst, but will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Jesus alone can satisfy our deepest desires. He says I thirst but provides us with living water.

3. “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” John 19:26-27 (3rd).

The next 5 sayings all express Jesus’ divinity. The divine nature of God is seen here. “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” Jesus’ concern is reflected even in the midst of excruciating pain. He still cares. Jesus still cares, despite what you might be experiencing, He still cares. The very fact that Jesus can identify with His mother’s loss speaks of His divine nature.

Seeing the broken heart of a mother who loved him, cared for him, brought him up and into this world. Now to see her first born being wrongfully accused, and wrongfully crucified could only break her very being into pieces.

Jesus still in meekness, gentleness, and love looks out to His mum, and comforts her with words, that at the time might not mean much to her emotional state. But would have a lasting effect and a very practical impact in her life.

Family, God’s word is true, His instructions are clear; I know you don’t like some of it, you struggle with understanding it. But let me tell you something, Jesus knows exactly what you need, and the word given to us is trustworthy, read the book of John the very same disciple Jesus entrusted the care of His mother to. Read it 3 to 4 times if necessary, and let Jesus reveal himself to you as you read it.

One thing you will find, which I found to be true is that Jesus loves me. He loves you. So much so that He died for me, so that I can have eternal life and an intimate relationship with Him. If you feel like your spouse doesn’t understand your feelings, when your parents don’t understand you. When your friends let you down or hurt.

You can simply bow your knee and call on His name and He hears your cry and through His word. He speaks to us. Sometimes I’ll admit, it can be hazy and cloudy and very quiet, but wait long enough and Jesus will reveal himself to you. If He was able to speak words of comfort to His mum, in His weakest, loneliest and darkest moment in his life. He can and will do the same for you, if you will seek and call out to him.

4. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46 (7th)

Jesus called out to the father in his last dying moments. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  The last thing we all will do, and will face one day is the commitment of our spirit. I would employ you to entrust it with the Father of creation. Jesus committed His spirit to the Father. The maker of the universe, the one who designed us all to live with purpose, the one who knew us even before we were born. The all perceiving, all present, all powerful, Almighty God.

Jesus knew the Father and trusted His life with it. Not only does Jesus commit His spirit to the Father, but it also expresses that there was a purpose and a will that God had over his life. The Father gave reason and meaning to Jesus’ life, that after all was said and done Jesus gave His spirit back to the father and said “It is finished”. We each hate having to carry our cross we all find it too difficult and painful.

But dear brother and sister, Jesus did all this, so you don’t have to. For He said take my yoke for it is easy and my burden is light. In him we find rest for our soul and meaning for our life (Mt 11:29-30).

5. “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (6th)

The 5th point and 6th saying is “it is finished”. What was finished? From the day Adam and Eve sinned, Mankind has been waiting for this moment. The culmination of God’s plan of salvation reaching its apogee. The system of sacrificing bulls and lambs’ could not pay the ultimate price.

Now we see the price of sin paid in full. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, He was pure, without blemish, sinless, and fulfilled all the laws.

Sin is the curse, and we need someone to cure us from it. Sin leads to death, and we needed someone to save us from it. This was the task, the mission, the reason that Jesus came into the world. He accomplished it by becoming a sacrificial lamb.

Isaiah 53:7 – He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth.

He carried the cross not for himself, but for you and me. He sacrificed Himself to save us, and give us life. So, when Jesus said, “It is finished” He finalised what started in the garden of Eden, thousands of years ago.

Paul says: Rom 5:12, 18-19 – Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned. 18… So also, one act of righteousness brought justification and life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

What a glorious and joyous revelation a few verses can bring. Jesus is our one and only saviour, for He declared “it is finished”. Hallelujah!

We sing Hallelujah for the lamb as overcome!

6. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 (1st).

Church it is finished, we need not sacrifice burnt offerings at the altar, we need not work to attain righteousness. All we have to do is believe in the one who paid the price and ask for forgiveness for our sins. For Jesus said “Father, forgive them. Jesus shows once again His divinity.

Only a loving God can first of all say something of this nature in the midst of what His going through, and secondly express a profound compassion on the very ones that nailed him up there.

“For they do not know what they are doing”. Jesus truly loves us, He offered his life for us so that we may live, He asked the father to forgive us, because we failed to see His true being. We failed to see exactly what He was doing on that cross.

Family can we be honest with ourselves this morning. Some of us know what we are doing, some of us know we aren’t pleasing God, we have taken His forgiveness which is intended to lead us to repentance, and use it for selfish desires and ambitions, or a cover up for evil (Rom 2:4-5; 1 Peter 2:16).

Let’ us not lie to ourselves, for that’s the only person we are deceiving. God knows your heart. Let us look up to him and ask for true repentance, and then I want you to look around and do something very practical, forgive others. “For they know not what they are doing”. In doing so, you have this beautiful promise of paradise coming into view.

7. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 (2nd).

For truly I tell you today you will be with me in paradise. Rest assured that today, right now if you have believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth. That Jesus died and rose from the grave – repent and ask for forgiveness. Then my friend you will receive eternal life. Trust in Jesus and don’t despair. There’s a song that says:

There is no problem too big.

God cannot solve it.

There is no mountain too tall.

God cannot move it.

There is no storm too dark.

God cannot calm it.

There is no sorrow too deep.

He cannot soothe it.

Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders.

I know my brother that He will carry you.

The 7 sayings on the cross church. May His words from the cross speak to you as you have read, Amen!

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Lyndhurst Baptist Church

A multi-cultural church of believers following Jesus Christ