As Holy Week continues, believers everywhere will take time on Good Friday to pay reverence to Jesus and His enduring sacrifice upon the cross. One way to mark our remembrance of the crucifixion involves recalling the 7 sayings of Jesus as He bore the world’s sin and shame. We invite you to view our companion PDF one-sheet titled On The Cross: 7 Sayings of Jesus as we reflect on Christ’s final words before his death, burial, and resurrection.
1) “Father, forgive them …” – Luke 23:34
As Jesus experienced unimaginable pain upon the cross, He could have chosen to respond with judgment and condemnation. Yet He maintained a posture of prayerful intercession as He asked the Father to forgive His persecutors. In His tender compassion, Christ considered the oppressors’ lack of understanding by uttering, “they know not what they do.”
2) “… you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:43
While Jesus hung on the cross, He spoke these encouraging words to a criminal who laid on a cross adjacent to Him. The criminal had just exclaimed, “remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” This saying of Jesus reveals that the criminal was justified by his faith in Christ rather than his actions and that he would experience everlasting life in heaven.
3) “I thirst.” – John 19:28
Because Jesus walked the Earth in bodily form, He experienced many of the same sufferings that we do: hunger, thirst, and pain, just to name a few. As we ponder the fact that Christ experienced thirst upon the cross, believers should be reminded that we have a Savior who intimately understands our physical, emotional, and spiritual pain & suffering. This saying of Jesus also fulfilled the prophetic scripture found in Psalm 69:21.
4) “Woman, behold your son.” -John 19:26
Though Jesus suffered in terrible agony upon the cross, He thought of others including His mother. As death loomed, Christ entrusted Mary’s care to John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. This saying demonstrates His love and concern for Mary, who was likely a widow at the time of the crucifixion, and His desire to honor the scriptures about taking care of widows.
5) “… why have you forsaken me?” -Matthew 27:46
Scholars suggest that perhaps Jesus was quoting Psalm 22 when He spoke these words upon the cross, or that He felt momentarily separated from the Father as the world’s sins were thrust upon Him. While some mystery remains, believers should know that we can cry out to God when we feel forsaken and look to the scriptures for comfort and consolation.
6) “… into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” – Luke 23:46
As Christ took His final breaths He confirmed that, though His body was dying, His spirit would live on. He also indicated that His trust would remain in the Father despite the immeasurable pain and suffering He had just endured. Indeed, Jesus’ followers would bear witness to these facts three days later when they saw that He was resurrected from the grave.
7) “It is finished.” – John 19:30
As His sacrifice came to its completion, Christ declared a profound statement of victory from the cross. When believers contemplate the enormity of Jesus’ great exchange—His righteousness for our sins—we can praise God for this incredible moment when our debt was paid in full, that we might enjoy eternal life with Him.