Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 says there is a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. Jesus, more than any other man, was aware of the timings in His life, his purpose and where He was going. His birth punctuated history and was the beginning of His journey to the cross, to pay the price for our sin and to make the way for us to be reconciled to God.
We can read about His ministry through the gospels and in the remaining books of the New Testament we see the effects of His life, ministry and message on the disciples. How they went from fishermen, tax collectors and activists to humble servants of Christ, giving up all that they had and going to the ends of the earth and laying down their lives with His beautiful message.
There was a moment when the people sought to take Jesus’ life but the time hadn’t come (John 7:30). During this time He preached the good news of the Kingdom of God, healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead. And then there came a moment when He knew His time had come (Mark 14:41). The journey that He began in the humble stable of Bethlehem was coming to its end and He began His final ascent to the cross.
Jesus birth, life and ministry were all pointing towards the cross and that is where we turn to now.
We have all seen the films where someone is dying and everyone gathers around the bed to hear what they have to say. Or where there is a reading of a will, everyone wants to hear what is said. A person’s last words are very important. And even more so with Jesus.
Whilst Jesus was on the cross there are seven things that He said, and over the next seven days it is these that I want to explore and meditate upon.
Day 1. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
Day 2.. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
Day 3. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” John 19:26
Day 4. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Mark 15:34
Day 5. I am thirsty. John 19:28
Day 6. It is finished. John 19:30
Day 7. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[a] When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46