SUNDAY SERMON: The seven utterances of Jesus on the cross
Jesus came for one single purpose: to pay the ultimate price for man’s redemption. This took the pain and horror of death on the Cross. We are very familiar with all of that.
Jesus made seven statements on the Cross that teach us more and give us examples to follow. A man who was that much brutalized; would only have been able to say very important things with his breath and little strength.
Here are the strong messages the Lord was trying to pass across to us:
- Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them” The cross teaches us forgiveness. It is the place where our sins are washed away. We must learn to forgive if we want to receive forgiveness. Walking in bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. One minute of anger depresses your immune system for six hours.
- Luke 23:43 “…To day shalt thou be with me…”. The second utterance is that of salvation. The thief on the cross was forgiven and promised a straight passage into paradise. Note however that forgiveness comes before salvation.
- John 19:26, 27 “Woman, behold thy son!” He established a new order of relationship and fellowship stressing that His blood is more important than any other blood and that we are to value our relationships in Christ more than our natural relationships.
This is the whole essence: man must respond through repentance to receive forgiveness and be saved. If you have not, then take this opportunity and ask Jesus into your heart right now! He will then bring you into his family.
- Matthew 27:46, “My God my God, why has thou forsaken me?”)The rejection of men did not trouble Him but the moment the father turned His back, He screamed, “My God my God, why has thou forsaken me?” We are to bother more about the divine presence than any other thing. Many are not bothered about what ‘He’ will think but about what ‘they’ will say. We should try to please God more than we try to please men. Because of our need for recognition, we often try very hard to impress men. We spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like. People compromise mostly because of the desire to please those in their circle. It is better to be rejected by men and be accepted by God than to be accepted by all men and be rejected by God.
His Father turned his back on him just to accept you. What great love!
Rejection is hard and painful. God can and will heal you and comfort you if you have been rejected by men. Who can you help today that is feeling rejected?
The love of God will never depart from your life. His presence will keep you and you will flourish; he will give you joy and peace at all times, in Jesus name!!!
- John 19:28 “I thirst” Jesus was not only just thirsty for water: He was thirsty for the divine presence. He was missing the fellowship He had with the Father. How thirsty are you for the things of God? Matthew 5:6 “6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” You gravitate in the direction of your strongest desires. Energy is released for the accomplishment of your dominant thoughts. What are you thirsty for; beer, sex, money or righteousness? Jesus said I thirst. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness … this thirst is healthy. Those who hunger and thirst and ask get filled. Thoughts become reality. Do you see your emptiness or hunger or lack as an opportunity or a problem? Your emptiness does not mean God has forsaken or forgotten you or that it is over; it is an opportunity to get filled. At the wedding in Cana of Galilee, the wine finished, the pots were empty and they informed Jesus. He immediately told them to fill the water pots. Learn to present empty vessels before Him at all times and He will fill you up.
- John 19:30 “It is finished” He finished the work of redemption. It is perfect! Nothing can be added or subtracted. Jesus did not say ‘I am finished.’ He said it is finished. He completed the task. It was painful but He finished. It stretched Him but He finished. God is looking for finishers. Many start but only a few finish. Apostle Paul finished. God is ready to invest anything on a finisher. Many people don’t wait long enough to finish.
The other implication is that He worked to His maximum potential as a man. Most people function below capacity. Most people are grossly under-utilised. They are not ready to be stretched. They easily settle for the easier way out. They want short cuts. The deeper you tap into your resources, the higher you rise. The more you stretch yourself, the farther you go. To rise higher than others, you must be prepared to do more than them.
Champions think deeper, wider and higher than most people; they work harder, and longer than others. One thing that distinguishes highly successful people is the knack for excellence. They are concerned about the quality of their work. They pay attention to details. How you finish is more important than how you start. Do everything in your power to finish. If you have to drag yourself across the finish line, do it!
Most people don’t finish because they have no goals; so they don’t know what they are aiming for. Goals are so important in sport that in Soccer for example, the goal post is clearly demarcated. The aim is to put the ball in the net. It doesn’t matter how well you are able to knock the ball around, if you cannot put it into the net you lose the match. I’m a fan of a popular football club. They are swift on the ball. They play a very entertaining type of football. They can hold the ball and pass it to one another with vision. They are individually talented and they also play well as a team. But I got worried when they began to struggle to score goals. They just were not finding the net. And if you can’t find the net you are out! Effort not aimed at any definite pursuit is wasted. Make sure you are shooting at a definite target.
Receive the spirit of a finisher in Jesus name. From today you will no longer abandon projects in Jesus name. You will start and finish. The spirit that aborts dreams and destiny will become powerless over you. Your dreams will become reality. Things will no longer spoil in your hands.
- Luke 23:46 “Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit” When He commended His spirit to the Father, He was teaching us that we will all return to our Maker from whom we came. We will spend eternity somewhere—heaven or hell. How prepared are you? He was sure the Father would receive Him. Are you sure of where you will spend eternity? The time to settle it is now.
The greatest shock of the devil was that Jesus resurrected. He resurrected to the glory of God. The devil thought he had Him but he was mistaken. The angel announced proudly, ‘He is not here; He is risen as He said.’ The stone could not prevent The Rock of Ages from coming out triumphantly. The soldiers on guard could not prevent the Commander of the host of heaven from coming out. The decree of Pilate could not prevent the King of kings from coming out. There is nothing the enemy has that can stop you from rising to your throne. You are unstoppable!
They brought spices to try and preserve Him in the tomb. People always try to preserve you where they left you.
He came out better than He went in. The enemy thought he was killing you but what he didn’t know is that he was building you.
Your predicament is about to be history! Anyone looking for you where you have been is making a mistake; tell them ‘I have moved! I have change places!’ The sun will rise again. The sun that went down did not go out. It will rise again. You will rise again. Your business will work again. Your marriage will work again. Your hope will rise again!!!