As we reflect on Christ’s selfless sacrifice, we will use the The Christian Basics Bible to mediate on the significance of Jesus’ sayings from the cross.
The Gospels record seven different sayings spoken by Jesus on the cross. Often used as a focus for reflection on Good Friday, they are traditionally seen as having been spoken in the following order:
Words of Forgiveness:
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Significance: Jesus fulfills his own teaching about loving one’s enemies and shows that the cross is the basis on which divine forgiveness can be given.
Words of Salvation:
“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
Significance: Jesus shows that it is never too late to ask to be saved and find the assurance of eternal life.
Words of Relationship:
“Dear woman, here is your son. . . . Here is your mother.” ( John 19:26-27)
Significance: Jesus, still thinking of others even in his agony, remembers the fifth commandment—honor your parents.
Words of Abandonment:
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Significance: Quoting from Psalm 22, Jesus expresses his sense of complete desertion, even by his Father (because of the sin he was bearing).
Words of Distress:
“I am thirsty.” ( John 19:28)
Significance: His body weakened by pain, blood loss, and dehydration, Jesus shows his true humanity.
Words of Reunion:
“Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” (Luke 23:46)
Quoting from Psalm 31:5, Jesus entrusts himself to the Father, for what follows now lies entirely in his hands.
Words of Triumph:
“It is finished!” ( John 19:30)
Jesus proclaims victory at the moment of apparent defeat, declaring, “It is all accomplished!” or even “It is all paid for!”