The Seven Last Sayings of Jesus from the Cross
Father God, as this Word goes forth, please send it straight to our hearts, so we will never forget what You did by sending Your Son Jesus to die for our sin. Bless these Words to fall on good grounds, so that all would bring forth good fruit in their season. Thank You for the opportunity to share Your Word about our Savior Jesus Christ. Abba Father thank You for Your forgiveness. Create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit in us. A spirit of forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Title: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment and cast lots.”
Reading: Gospel of Luke 23:34-38 King James Version (KJV)
34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” 38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Matthew 6:14; Acts 7:60; Isaiah 53:12; Luke 22:32; John 17:9; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; James 5:15; I John 1:19
Theme: (The Passion of Christ)
Warm-up Question: What is Forgiveness?
Goal: Walk in forgiveness
One of the thorniest and most difficult things we humans are ever called upon to do is to respond to evil with kindness, and to forgive the unforgivable. We love to read stories about people who have responded to hatred with love, but when that very thing is demanded of us personally, our default seems to be anger, angst (dread or anguish), depression, self-righteousness, hatred, etc. Yet study after study shows that one of the keys to longevity and good health is to develop a habit of gratitude and let go of past hurts. Want to live a long, happy life? Forgive the unforgivable. It really is the kindest thing you can do for yourself. Your enemy may not deserve to be forgiven for all the pain and sadness and suffering purposefully inflicted on your life, but you deserve to be free of this evil. As Ann Landers often said, "hate is like an acid. It damages the vessel in which it is stored and destroys the vessel on which it is poured." Jesus speaks to the Father on the behalf of human. Jesus is asking for forgiveness. He is showing His Father’s heart. These were the unforgivable, the hardhearted, and self-righteous people in His time. God desire us to live this kind of life. Pray for forgiveness, and then forgive too. It makes sense that the first word of Jesus from the cross is a word of forgiveness. That’s the point of the cross, after all. Jesus is dying so that we might be forgiven for our sins, so that we might be reconciled to God for eternity. But the forgiveness of God through Christ doesn’t come only to those who don’t know what they are doing when they sin. In the mercy of God, we receive his forgiveness even when we do what we know to be wrong. God chooses to wipe away our sins, not because we have some convenient excuse, and not because we have tried hard to make up for them, but because he is a God of amazing grace, with mercies that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
As we read the words, “Father, forgive them,” may we understand that we too are forgiven through Christ. As John writes in his first letter, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9). Because Christ died on the cross for us, we are cleansed from all wickedness, from every last sin. We are united with God the Father as his beloved children. We are free to approach his throne of grace with our needs and concerns. God “has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Ps 103:13). What great news!
Reading Scripture in another version: Luke 23:34-38 (NIV)
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] 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 God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and 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”
Forgiveness is another way to show compassion toward others. As Jesus hung on the cross God’s compassionate heart was revealed toward His people. God is moved by His compassion, and His compassion is drawn to humility. Like a river of love, God’s compassion flows to the lowest situation in your life, your greatest need, your greatest weakness, and your greatest failures. Whatever you lay low before the Lord He will be drawn to that area of your life. God gives grace to the humble, and His strength is made perfect in your weakness.
God says to you "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite." Jesus says, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Jesus Christ’s pity and loving concern for the lowly and the needy. His words and deeds show God’s merciful and gracious nature in action.
Jesus Christ shows the compassion of God. The compassion of Jesus Christ is the basis of Christian confidence. The Greek word here translated “sympathize” has the sense of “be compassionate towards.”
The demonstration of Jesus Christ’s compassion in supporting the weak, in healing the sick, in comforting the bereaved, in feeding the hungry, in finding and forgiving lost sinners, and in giving rest to those who are burdened or abandoned can be found in these scriptures.
(cf. scripture; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Chronicles 36:15; Psalm 86:15; Hosea 11:4, 8-9; Luke 1:72,78; Luke 15:20; Matthew 12:20; Luke 9:11; Luke 18:42-43; Mark 5:36).
Reading Scripture in another version: Luke 23:34-38 (NLT)
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”[a] And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. 35 The crowd watched, and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
God is known to be a God of mercy and grace. Understanding mercy is often difficult for people as we tend to be a generation of “I’ll get him for that” and “I hope they get what they deserve.” Many have developed a nature of harsh criticism and want others to get what they have coming to them and then some. God, however, is merciful to even the worst offenders, sinners, and law breakers. This means that even though He knows of our guilt, He doesn’t always issue the punishment deserved. To elaborate, the verse in Romans 3:23-24 says “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Simply, we are all sinners and do not meet the standards of righteousness that God intends us to have. But, through His mercy and grace He provided a way for our sins to be forgiven through our acceptance of Christ Jesus—even though we don’t deserve it. Coupled with grace (being given God’s free gift of forgiveness though we’ve done nothing to deserve it), mercy is shown because He loves us and only asks that we accept His Son by faith. God of Mercy – To whom it is given The God of mercy calls for the following in Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? “To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” These are words to all of mankind. Mercy is offered to you and me alike. He has shown us what is good and answers what is required of us. Micah asks God in Micah 7:18, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.” This passage shows that God enjoys being merciful and is still showing mercy today. One example of God’s mercy today is the remarkable story of a woman called Jeanette. Her grandmother, Carla, tried to urge Jeanette to go into drug rehab without much success. Carla prayed to God, asking for His intervention with Jeanette. Carla was reminded by the words from God, “Who do I need to do anything, remember who I AM. I can take that drug away from your granddaughter, squash it and it will not return.” Carla said she prayed for Jesus to come into their broken family and heal her granddaughter. Jeanette is now drug free and enjoying a blessed relationship with her family. Carla stands on Luke 1:50, “His mercy extends to those who fear [revere] him, from generation to generation.” There are many references about God’s mercy throughout the Bible. For instance, in Genesis 37 through 45 we find the story of Joseph, son of Jacob. God’s mercy toward Joseph’s brothers for their betrayal is certainly evident in this story. Other illustrations are found throughout the prayers of King David in the Psalms. God’s mercy is endless and found throughout the ages to the present. God of Mercy – The Ultimate Benefit Saying that He is a God of mercy is a minimized description of what He is willing to do. Remember, in the first section we said God offers a pardon even though He knows of our guilt. Paul gives a good picture of this in Ephesians 2:1-10. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace we are saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Point of Interest: Salvation
Place to Share: Nazareth:
1). What happen between 6am and the 3rd hour of Jesus ’life?
2). In reading the timeline, what happen in Luke 23:6-12?
3). Which book of the Gospel give more on Jesus before Pilate?
4). How long did Jesus’ final hours of suffering last on the cross?
5). What is Via Dolorosa?
6). When did Passion Week begin?
7). Do you really believe God has forgiven your sins?
8). Do you take time on a regular basis to confess your sins so that you might enjoy the freedom of forgiveness?
9). Do you need to experience God’s forgiveness in a fresh way today?
10). What compelled Jesus to go to the cross?
Reading: Day # 1 (Luke 1-3)