The seven last words of Jesus are some of the most powerful and meaningful words ever uttered. They’re words that have been studied and analyzed for centuries, and they’re words that still carry a deep and profound meaning today.
As we approach Easter, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the significance of Jesus’s last words and what they say about his life, his mission, and our own lives.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the seven last words of Jesus and explore their meaning, so that we can better understand what Jesus was trying to tell us with his final words.
The 7 Last words of Jesus and their meaning
Below are the seven final words of Jesus at the cross of Calvary.
1. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)
As he faces the hatred of his enemies, Jesus utters this phrase and fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 53:12, which announced that he would “intercede for his transgressors.” Jesus was dying on the cross, but her only priority was to make sure that God granted His forgiveness to those who humiliated and rejected her. Despite what they had just done, Jesus still loved them and was ready to show mercy. Sin has made us enemies of God, but through Christ’s sacrifice, we can be forgiven. When we grasp the depth of his love, we, in turn, are able “to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, to do good to those who hate us, and to pray for those who mistreat and persecute us” (Matthew 5:44).
2. “You will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43)
When Jesus pronounces this sentence, he finds himself in the company of two criminals who themselves are real culprits. However, while one of them neglects him, the other realizes that he is indeed the Messiah and recognizes his innocence: “this man has done nothing wrong” (verse 41). He then expresses his faith that Christ will rule the kingdom of God: “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (verse 42). Jesus answered him by promising him heaven, a reward given to those who, like the thief on the cross, repent of their sins and put their faith in Him. Jesus, who by his death and resurrection received the highest authority, can forgive us and assure us of eternal life.
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3. “Woman, behold your son” (John 19:26)
The Bible tells us that Mary stood and watched her son die while he was on the cross (verse 25). The pain of seeing her child rejected, mocked, and nailed to a cross by those he had come to save must have been unbearable. Jesus knew the state of suffering of the one who had carried it for 9 months. He couldn’t abandon his mother and leave her in such a state. He thus asked Jean to take care of her and ensured that the one who had loved her more than anything was taken care of. With this sentence, we must understand the importance of honoring and loving our parents.
4. “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Jesus experienced loneliness. He experienced it to the highest degree when he was on the cross. He thus experienced a horrible separation from the Father because he bore the sins of the world. His physical pain must have been unbearable, but his inner pain was even greater. Jesus, however, agreed to suffer, knowing that through his stripes, we would never again have to be separated from God. The extreme suffering that Jesus endured to save us from sin testifies to his love for us. Christ knew the feeling of loneliness and rejection, but he knew they would not be eternal and would soon be filled with immense joy and peace when the glory of God surrounded him.
5. “I am thirsty!” (John 19:28).
By pronouncing this sentence, Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Psalm 69:21: “To quench my thirst, they drink vinegar for me.” But that’s not all. By experiencing this suffering, Jesus shows us that he also had material and physical needs as a man. The Lord was thirsty but could not count on the help of men to be watered. It’s a very instructive episode. Men can never meet our thirst and our different needs. Only God is capable of this. He knows our spiritual and material needs, and as a good Father, will provide according to His will. Anyone thirsty must turn to the spring of eternal living water, which will never perish, namely Christ, as stated in John 4:14: “[…]But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty,
6. “It is finished” (John 19:30).
When he pronounces this sentence, Jesus announces the end of his ministry and his ultimate mission on earth: to give his life so that by his blood we may be washed away from our sins. But this sentence is not an “end clap.” It meant the beginning of a new era, one of grace and salvation for everyone who believes. Many Pharisees rejoiced over Jesus’ death. The devil himself thought he had won the victory, but he was not. The death of Christ is undoubtedly the most significant victory that the world has known: it symbolizes the defeat of the devil and death.
7. “Father, I commit my spirit into your hands” (Luke 23:46).
Jesus’s last words were words of faith, testifying his total submission to the Father. After obeying His will, Jesus knew He would return to His home with all the honors that were due to Him. As prophesied, Jesus Christ was resurrected three days after his crucifixion and reigns today at the right hand of God! Like Jesus, anyone who accepts carrying his cross and crucifying his flesh to follow God’s will be rewarded with eternal life by His side!
The seven last words of Jesus on the cross have been a source of contemplation and meditation for centuries. These words, uttered by Jesus in his agony, are filled with deep meaning and significance. They are a powerful reminder of the love of Christ and the ultimate sacrifice He made for us.