THE LAST WORDS OF JESUS
1. JESUS PRAYS
- Luke 23:34 Jesus prayed, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
A. WHEN DID HE PRAY?
- When Jesus could do nothing more what did He do – He prayed!
- His hands were nailed down, His feet where nailed down, His disciples had deserted Him, what could He still do – PRAY!
B. WHAT DID HE PRAY?
- In the heat of the pain and the suffering if is a prayer of forgiveness.
- However Jesus does not say “Father I forgive them!’ Instead He prayed ‘Father, would You forgive them!’ (Emphasis added)
- If Jesus had forgiven His persecutors then God would still have had to ensure that justice prevailed. BUT if God forgave them (at Jesus’ request) then justice would not be demanded.
- This is the ultimate forgiveness!
- A forgiveness which would exempt mankind from the penalty of his actions.
C. TO WHOM DID HE PRAY?
- Jesus prays to His Father. In this moment He acknowledges God and His ‘sonship’ in God.
- When we go through hard time what do we say? SUGGESTION: Where is God?
- Jesus, on the other hand, does not doubt His Father and turns and prays: ‘Father”.
D. FOR WHOM DID HE PRAY?
- He prayed for others.
- He prayed for people who had done Him a great injustice.
- He included everyone in His prayer.
- He prayed for one of man’s greatest needs – FORGIVENESS!
- He prayed for all of mankind!
- He prayed for you and me.
2. JESUS OFFERS HOPE
Luke 23:42 - 43 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
A. JESUS GIVES THE GIFT OF SALVATION.
- Here we see the greatest picture of the gift of Salvation being given to one who was not deserving.
- It is a picture of GRACE!
- LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING:
- The man needed to be saved.
- In faith he calls on Jesus.
- Jesus assures him of heaven.
- He did not deserve it. God gave it to him!
- Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
- This picture plays itself out into our very world today.
- There are those who are ready to receive Jesus and those who are not!
- But every man has his chance!
- Jesus is still ready to give the gift; the gift of Salvation!
B. THERE WERE TWO THIEVES, EACH WITH A DIFFERENT REQUEST.
- THIEF 1 – ‘Save Yourself and us!’ A selfish prayer with a twist of bitterness. This man just wanted to live a little longer so that he could continue doing what he had been doing!
- THIEF 2 – ‘Remember me!’ This man understood and grasped the reality that eternity lay ahead and he wanted to be part of it! He had a revelation of who Jesus really was and he made it clear when he said: ‘But this man has done nothing wrong.’ (Luke 23:41)
- This thief realized that Jesus knew no sin and was in fact the Son of God and understood that HE alone could truly save him.
C. JESUS’ REPLY.
- ‘I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.’
- This man came and Jesus received him!
- That is the truth about Jesus Christ!
- There is no doubt in what Jesus said. He knew this man would die.
- Then He said these words: ‘YOU WILL BE WITH ME!’
- But Jesus was with him! They were hanging together on crosses. They were dying together.
- What Jesus was saying was that there was something that would follow this earthly existence, another dimension.
- There is another dimension just outside of your earthly existence!
- This is a picture of eternity.
- To be WITH GOD forever is what you and I were designed and destined for!
3. JESUS MAKES PROVISION
- John 19:26 - 27 When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
A. THE RELATIONSHIP CHANGES
- Here we see how Jesus speaks to His mother.
- We see how He calls her ‘WOMAN’ not mother.
- In that moment the relationship changed.
- He was now ‘THE SON OF GOD – TAKING AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD’.
- The son of man could never do that, it had to be the Son of God!
- In that moment He became the Saviour of the world!
- In the same way, our relationship with God needs to change and He (Jesus) needs to become more than historical knowledge about a man and He needs to become our Saviour!
B. JESUS MAKES PROVISION
- Jesus wanted to make sure that Mary was cared for.
- It is a moment of honouring and provision.
- Even when faced with tremendous pain and suffering this aspect was important to Him.
- In addition His disciple John was also at the cross.
- He was the disciple whom Jesus loved.
- In Jesus’ wisdom, He must have realized that the one He loved would take care of His mother.
- In the same way God wants you and I to know that He will make a way for us, even in the toughest of situations.
- God will be faithful to meet our needs.
4. JESUS CRIES OUT
Matthew 27:45 - 46 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”- Which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
A. GOD TURNS HIS BACK ON HIS SON JESUS
- Jesus did not say: ‘My God, it feels like you have forsaken me!’
- Jesus knew what was happening.
- God was placing the sin of all mankind on His Son and in that moment God, who could tolerate sin, turned away.
- To be ‘forsaken’ is undesirable state.
- To be ‘forsaken’ by God is the ultimate loss.
- Jesus felt and carried the weight of this loss.
- Now Jesus changes His terminology and He does not refer to God as His Father, but now God is God.
- He knew that God could not tolerate sin and in that moment when He carried man’s sin, the reality of God as GOD was a reality.
- Today God cannot look or tolerate our sin and we need to understand that sin separates us from God.
- Therefore we need to deal with sin in our own lives.
- We need to repent and ask God to forgive us, realizing that He is God, but in the process He can become Our Father!
5. JESUS SHOWS US HIS HUMAN SIDE
John 19:28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
Prophetic fulfillment of:
Psalm 69:21 ‘They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.’
- Jesus was suffering.
- There was a human side to this suffering.
- As Jesus cried out ‘I thirst!’ He gives us a glimpse of His human suffering.
- And today we have One who has suffered and was tempted in every way and He can identify with everything you and I will every face.
- Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
- Once Jesus had accomplished what He had come to earth to do, He takes a moment to think of Himself and His own physical needs.
- As a result, today, you and I can know Someone who is able to satisfy our thirst.
- Let Him come and satisfy your thirst right now!
6. JESUS IS VICTORIOUS
John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
- This is a cry of victory.
- His suffering is over.
- His work on earth is done.
- He has accomplished the work His Father had prepared for Him.
- He had made a way!
- It was not a half job and nothing was left incomplete.
- It was done, it was complete, it was finished!
- He had done everything necessary to save us and give us the opportunity of eternal life with God.
- In that moment prophesy was fulfilled and complete.
- In that moment suffering was over.
- In that moment salvation became a reality.
- It was a declaration to all that the work was done.
- IT IS FINISHED!
7. JESUS COMMITMENTS HIS LIFE INTO HIS FATHER’S HANDS
Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When He had said this, He breathed His last.
- Here again we see Jesus refer to God as His Father.
- The work is done and once again God is His Father.
- He was no longer separated from His Father.
- God was His Father.
- He now voluntarily entrust His spirit into the hands of His Father.
- In the same way you and I need to place our lives, hearts and spirit’s into the hands of our loving Heavenly Father.
- You can trust God with your heart.
- He is a safe place.
- Put your soul into His hands today!
- The reality of Jesus and His cross will hang like a shadow over all humanity, constantly inviting each man, woman and child to come and place their hearts in His hands.
- Let us place our hearts and lives in His capable, faithful and trustworthy hands.