The Seven Statements of Jesus on the Cross

John 20:1-10 NIV 

The Empty Tomb

20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

You can sense the level of confusion and the fear as they ran to the tomb. Even though Jesus had told them what would happen they still struggled to believe it actually could. The tomb was empty, he was not there! He has Risen!

This is the most significant time for the Christian Faith. When Jesus comes back from the dead.

Yet I want to take you back to Friday, to the Cross. Without the resurrection we would have all missed what happened on the cross. When Jesus came back and interacted with people after his death and burial he solidified the faith of those early disciples.

On Friday morning around 9am Jesus was nailed to the cross. While he was hanging on the cross He said some very powerful and important things that are recorded for us today.

He made 7 statements – A person’s last words before they die are usually very significant. It’s honest, raw and real. We know these are not His final words before going to heaven, but these are the final words before he died and was resurrected.

As I mentioned this is the most significant time in the history of our world and yet most people did not know it was even happening or what was actually happening.

Even Satan and the demons did not know what was happening. They thought they had won, finally defeating the Son of God. A major victory in this spiritual war.

Jesus was doing His greatest work on earth and He was uttering His greatest words on earth.

I believe this was his greatest sermon, these 7 statements. I wish I had time to unpack deeply every statement. These statements come from all 4 Gospels as none of them have all 7. That is the beauty of the Gospels, each has a slightly different emphasis as they describe the same event.

The first 3 hours He gave 3 statements. All of them were about other people, not about himself.

His first statement, His first words on the cross were “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He is fully displaying his love and mercy for all people. Emphasizing how important forgiveness is for all of us.

His second statement was to a man who was dying on the cross next to him. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” By simply believing in Jesus this man was saved.

His third statement was to His mother “Woman, behold your son!” and then to John “Behold, your mother!” Jesus is expressing how important it is to care for our families, to love them to the end and make sure they are provided for.

Then at noon Mathew, Mark & Luke record that there was darkness over the whole land, it went dark, Jesus was silent, Luke also tells us that the curtain in the temple between the Holy of Holies and the rest of the temple was torn in two and Mark tells us it was torn from top to bottom.

This went on for 3 hours, then suddenly, Jesus breaks the silence with His 4th statement:

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Why did Jesus say this?

This comes from prophecy in Psalm 22 and it’s the moment that God turns away from Jesus because the sins of the world have been laid upon him. The agony, the feelings of abandonment, the isolation all came upon Jesus.

That statement got a lot of people’s attention. Some thought he was calling on Elijiah to come and there was this sense of anticipation like something was about to happen. That’s when someone went to get the spong and the sour wine.

These last three statements come one after the other fairly quickly. The 5th statement is simply “I am thirsty”

Look at verse John 19:28-29 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. ”.

So after he cries out to Father God, it says Jesus knows it’s finished but he first says I am thirsty. Why not just say it is finished and give up his spirit.

What does that mean so that Scripture would be fulfilled?

Jesus was thinking about Psalm 69:21 another prophecy about the coming of the Messiah which says “and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.”

So yes, he would have been thirsty, he had gone for a very long time without food or water. He had lost a lot of blood and fluids, but he was also sending us a message that He is the Messiah, He is fulfilling what the old testament said about him. Even in a small detail like that.

Another interesting thing that happened was that they used a Hyssop branch to extend the sour wine to him. Those same hyssop branches would have been used to spread the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and also to sprinkle the blood of sacrifices on the altar happening right at that moment in the temple as they prepared lambs for the passover meals that evening.

Another symbol, to show us that Jesus is the final sacrifice.

So Jesus knew that was the final prophecy to be fulfilled. He knew he had completed the work by taking on the sin of the world and that is why he said the next statement.

“It is Finished”

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.”

Think about what Jesus had done on that cross. He went into darkness, he was separated from God “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” and he experienced a burning thirst. 

To me that sounds a lot like Hell. Darkness, separation from God, burning thirst. Jesus took Hell so that you and I could have Heaven! Jesus Endured Thirst so that you and I could be satisfied for eternity.

On the cross God the Father treated Jesus Christ as if he had committed every sin committed by every person who ever lived.

Look at 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

In other words God the Father treated Jesus like you and I deserve to be treated, so that God could then treat you and I like Jesus deserves to be treated.

So when Jesus cries out It is Finished, He wasn’t saying He was finished or done. No, He was saying the work is finished, the sacrifice is finished, the prophecy is finished, the sins of the world are now covered and paid for.

It was a cry of victory, not of defeat. 

Which leads to the final statement Jesus made on the cross. This statement we find in Luke, Again in a loud voice Jesus says “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.”

In John it says With that statement “It is FInished” He bows his head – He rests His head and He chooses to commit His spirit to God. At that moment he breathed his last breath.

This lets us know that it was Jesus’ decision to die, not man. He gave His life, it was not taken. He loved us to the end, and with that end came eternal life for all who believe in Him.

So back to today. To Sunday, to the Resurrection! Now that Jesus has come back again all that happened before makes so much more sense. All the things he said came true, all the things from the Old Testament came true.

Jesus fulfilled all that was said about him, Jesus fulfilled all that He said would happen. And Do you know what else Jesus said?

In the last book of the Bible, the last chapter of that Book, three times Jesus tells John the writer of Revelation and us today “Behold, I am coming soon.” The third time he says Surely I am coming soon!

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