“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.” Luke 23:33
Throughout Holy Week we’ve seen what Jesus said to the hypocritical religious leaders, as well as to His devoted followers. But Jesus became a man of few words after His arrest. He did, however, make several statements from the Cross; and the insights we gain from them are invaluable. Here are three examples, revealing why today is called Good Friday.
“But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34). There was no animosity for the mocking crowds or soldiers—only a plea to His Father to forgive them. Just think, Jesus was dying for the very sin they were committing. His death was the direct result of every sin that ever was or ever will be committed. Scripture tells us that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23), requiring a blood sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22).
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). When the sins of the world were laid on Jesus, His fellowship with God the Father was broken. While the Cross was physically agonizing, we cannot imagine the anguish caused by this separation. Our sin nature separates us from God. So, Jesus took our penalty, becoming the bridge to cross that gulf. Because of the Cross we can enjoy daily intimate fellowship with the heavenly Father.
“He said, ‘It is finished!’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30). These words from the Cross are perfectly fitting; His mission was complete. As the Lamb of God, Jesus poured out His life’s blood for our salvation (John 1:29). He faced sin’s penalty in order to break sin’s power. We don’t have to earn salvation—it is a finished work.
Sin may have caused the Cross but the motivation was God’s powerful love for us. We need to come face-to-face with the realization that we are part of the world’s sin problem and that Jesus paid the penalty for our personal sin. He spoke words of love and forgiveness at the very moment God’s wrath for our sin was being poured out on Him. Have you accepted the payment He made for your sin? If so, then thoughts of the Cross should overwhelm you with gratitude. The words spoken from the Cross might have been few, but they were powerful!