Words from the Cross
Mar 3, 2017 · Courtney Jacob
The words a person chooses to communicate with their dying breath are often of great interest to us. Do a Google search for “famous last words” and you’ll quickly find collections of wise, pithy, and sometimes humorous sayings attributed to renowned musicians, scholars, politicians, scientists, and artists throughout history. And while these words can teach and even inspire us, for those of us dedicated to living faithfully for the Lord, it’s the last words and teachings of Jesus Christ that matter most to us.
As Jesus hung, dying on the cross, struggling to draw a breath, what did he say? In our Groundwork series “Words from the Cross,” we’ll examine seven words Jesus spoke during his crucifixion. Through our study together we’ll affirm deep truths about our faith, our Savior, our salvation, God's kingdom, and why it's imperative for us to preach Christ crucified.
The Significance of the Cross
Crucifixion was a ghastly way to die. It involved immense suffering and humiliation. There was nothing glorious or heroic about this kind of death. And yet, a crucified Messiah is foundational for Christianity and the cross is a central symbol of the Christian faith.
When we intentionally think about our sinful nature and remember Christ’s suffering as he endured death on a cross to save us from our sins, something happens: our hearts appreciate the gravity of our situation and the enormity of the victory Christ’s death and resurrection accomplished for us.
So we begin our journey through Lent at the foot of the cross.
The Tradition of Lent
During the season of Lent, Christians around the world pause and reflect on our sinful, human condition and our need for a Savior. Just as Jesus spent forty days in the desert preparing for ministry, Christians embark on a forty-day journey during Lent to prepare our hearts for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter.
To help ourselves stay focused in our reflection and preparation, it can be very helpful to organize our meditation and study on a theme. In our Groundwork series, “Words from the Cross,” we’ve chosen to dwell on and study the seven last words the Gospels tell us Jesus Christ spoke from the cross. Meditating on these words is a tradition in many Christian communities. In fact, some churches hold three-hour worship services on Good Friday to observe and remember the three hours of darkness that descended while Jesus hung dying on the cross, and use this time to meditate on the seven last words of Christ.
Begin at the Foot of the Cross
We join Christians around the world in preparing our hearts for Easter by studying the rich and deep truths found in Jesus Christ’s words from the cross.
I invite you to begin your Lenten journey at the foot of the cross through our Groundwork series, “Words from the Cross”:
- Father, Forgive Them - Luke 23:32-38
- A New Family- John 19:23-27
- With Me in Paradise - Luke 23:32-43
- Why Have You Forsaken Me? - Mark 15:33-39
- I Thirst - John 19:28-37
- Father, into Your Hands - Luke 23:26-31, 44-49
- It is Finished - John 19:28-30
...and together we’ll remember the salvation we receive through Jesus Christ and the profound significance of his suffering and death on the cross.