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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Lent 2016--Day Forty

Seven Last Sayings of Jesus

1. Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34) Jesus prayed a lot. He went to Gethsemane often to pray alone or with the disciples. We went alone at night to pray and commune with God his Father. He rose early and went out before daylight to pray. At the hour of his greatest need, he did not abandon this practice.

He preached forgiveness. Forgive those who do bad things to you. Forgive your enemies. He forgave those who came to him and blessed them. The Jewish law said you should forgive seven times, but Jesus said forgive seventy times seven. Now he was forgiving those who were killing him. Forgiveness stood the test: No matter the circumstance, forgiveness is always appropriate.

2. I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:39-43) Even the others who were crucified criticized him. When one taunted him to save himself and them to, the other thief, reproved him. "We are only getting what we deserve, but this man is just. "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 
Jesus replied, "This day you will be with me in paradise." 

3. He said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is you mother."( John 19:26-27) In the midst of torture and pain, he did not neglect his mother. She was there to be with him at the end as she had been at the beginning. Preachers and teachers make a big deal about  addressing her in public with a rebuke. Don't let it overwhelm you. Here he is concerned about her welfare and someone to care for her.

4. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"(Matt 27:45-50) This is a quote from Psalms 22:1 and expresses the depth of Jesus' abandonment by his Father. I have heard a lot of comments explaining this: God is holy and he did not commune, even with Jesus, when he carried the sin of the world. The other angle is the magnitude of the sacrifice Jesus made to cover sin. There was more to the sacrifice than death.

5. "I thirst." Medical science emphasizes the extreme thirst he would have endured. He would probably have breathed through his mouth. The blood loss alone would have increased his thirst added to the six hours he hung there. (John 19:28-29)

6. "Father into you hands I commit my Spirit."(Luke 23:40-49)Again he quotes from Psalms, Psalms 31:5 which reflects the sorrow and abject dependence he has on his Father. It is not a cry of surrender but he shouted in victory. It cost him everything, but it defeated the enemy.

7. "It is finished."(John 19:28-36) Redemption was accomplished. It was destined from the foundation of the world, and now it was a reality.