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쏡o all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, (Philippians 2:14-15) ...
       
 
  
 

Series on "The Message of the Cross" – (19)

Manmin News   No. 92
9860
April 2, 2007


Jesus' Last Seven Words on the Cross (3)

{The Order of Publication}

1.The First and Second Words
2.The Third Word
3.The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Words
4.The Seventh Word

"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?' that is, 'MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?'" (Matthew 27:46)

"After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, 'I am thirsty.' When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit" (John 19:28-30).


When the moment of death approaches, most people look back at their lives and leave a will to their families and friends who, in turn, cherish the last words of their loved ones. Jesus, who had come into this world as the Savior of mankind, left behind a few words shortly before He breathed His last on the cross and they are known as "The Last Seven Words on the Cross."
Once we have clearly fathomed the heart of Our Lord who, as the Son of God, fulfilled the Providence of salvation, we can become true children of God. Continuing from the last edition of Manmin Joong-ang News, let us pick up today with the fourth, fifth, and sixth words Jesus bequeathed on the cross.

The Fourth Word: "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?"

Jesus' Words "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" in Matthew 27:46, when translated, means "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?" However, Jesus did not utter these words to God as a form of bitter complaint or to verbally express His torment.
Long before He came into this world, Jesus was aware of the suffering of the cross. Besides, as He had willingly and voluntarily elected the path of the cross in order to fulfill God's Providence, there was no reason for Jesus to complain against God. In these words are embedded spiritual significance of great importance.
First, there is a reason why "Jesus cried out with a loud voice." Throughout the previous night, Jesus was taken from place to place, being questioned relentlessly and flogged ruthlessly. Furthermore, He was hung on the cross for six hours after He was first nailed to it (Mark 15:25). Even though He did not have sufficient strength to have "cried out with a loud voice," Jesus had done this in order to remind all people of and have them understand why God had forsaken Him and why He had to be subject to crucifixion.
At that very moment His body was nailed and hanging helplessly on the cursed cross, Jesus was thoroughly forsaken by God. This was so that He could redeem mankind from their sins and lead them to heaven. As all mankind had been destined to be forsaken by God in accordance with the curse of the law, Jesus was cursed and forsaken by God on our behalf. In order to remind all people of this, "Jesus cried out with a loud voice."
From the Bible we learn that when Jesus referred to God, He would always say, "Father." Yet, in Matthew 27:46, the reason why Jesus said "MY GOD" was because, as He had become a cursed sinner and was thus hanging on a cross, Jesus could not dare call the holy God "Father." By the same token, even if you say you "believe in the Lord" but live in accordance with the temptation of the enemy devil and Satan instead of living by the will of God, you would not be able to call God "Father" with confidence.
Next, Jesus "cried out with a loud voice" because countless people are still befriending the world and walking on the path to death even though God has given up His Only Begotten Son for the sinners. For Jesus wanted all souls to be aware of the reason why He was crucified, accept Him as their Savior, and gain life, Jesus cried out in a loud voice "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?"
If we believe from the heart that Jesus was forsaken by God and crucified on account of our sins, each of us must no longer dwell amidst sin but live a life that is set apart and become His child who can call God, "Father." We must also make a point of diligently spreading and sharing the message of the cross in order to lead all those souls on their way to death, without knowing the truth, back on to the path of salvation.

The Fifth Word: "I am thirsty."

John 19:28 reads that "in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled," Jesus said, "I am thirsty." When an individual bleeds a substantial amount, he suffers from extreme thirst. Now, can you imagine how thirsty our Jesus must have been as He was nailed and hung on a cross in dry air of Israel under the scorching sun for hours?
Yet, Jesus was suffering not simply from physical thirst; there is spiritual significance embedded in His words, "I am thirsty." His words are spiritual in nature, exhorting each of us to quench His thirst by reclaiming His blood.
How, then, can we "reclaim the blood of Jesus"? As Jesus shed His blood in order to save all mankind the sinners, "reclaiming of the blood of Jesus" symbolizes diligently seeking out and preaching the gospel to all those who are to otherwise end up in hell. In addition to "directly" spreading the gospel to unbelievers, we can "indirectly" spread the gospel by praying for the salvation of souls and giving God offerings for mission work.
When Jesus said, "I am thirsty," some people nearby "put a sponge full of the sour wine upon [a branch of] hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth." Jesus received the sour wine not to quench thirst but He was to, by the spiritual decree as set forth by a prophecy from the Old Testament (Psalm 69:21), have a taste of the sour wine.
Jesus' having "received the sour wine" attests to the fact that Jesus drank the sour wine and He made it possible for us to drink new wine. The "sour wine" symbolizes the law of Old Testament times while "new wine" signifies the law of love fulfilled by Jesus Himself.
According to the law of the Old Testament, all sinners were to be punished for their sins and the redemption of their sins was accomplished by the blood of animals they sacrificed to God. As Jesus Himself became an atoning sacrifice and redeemed us from the curse of the law with His death on the cross, however, Jesus "received the sour wine" for us.
Therefore, we will be forgiven of our sins when we believe in Jesus Christ and repent of our sins from the heart. This is the act of "drinking new wine" and to enlighten us of this fact, Jesus said, "I am thirsty" and received the sour wine Himself.

The Sixth Word: "It is finished!"

John 19:30 reads, "When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit." By "It is finished!" Jesus was making reference to how He had accomplished the Providence of the redemption of mankind and had fulfilled the law by love.
For "The wages of sin is death," according to the law, all sinners are to receive the punishment of death and go to hell. God's children, for a long time, had to kill cattle or sheep and sacrifice the blood of the animals for the forgiveness of their sins, but Jesus redeemed us sinners from the curse of the law by offering Himself up to be crucified.
The steps Jesus took to redeem mankind from their sins were accomplished by His unimaginable and inexplicable love of great magnitude. The precious Son of God came into this world, spread the news of heaven and healed all diseases and infirmities of the wretched mankind. He endured the torment of being captured and flogged by the sinners themselves, having on a crown of thorns put on His head, and having nails pierced in His hands and feet.
Now that we have received the right to enter heaven by our faith in Jesus Christ who, in His magnificent love and sacrifice for us, shattered the authority of death held by the enemy devil and Satan who had long ruled over mankind, what are we to do? As Jesus fulfilled all of the Father's Providence and became the King of kings and the Lord of lords, we must also fulfill all of God's will.
God's will for us is perfect sanctification and perfect faithfulness. We are to bear the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit, accomplish spiritual love, fulfill the Beatitudes, and, as He told us to be "My witnesses even to the remotest part of the earth," we are to make every effort in the salvation of souls. Only then can we complete preparing of ourselves as His bride, wholly carry out each of our God-given duties, and on the day of His return, confess to Him, "It is finished!"
Brothers and sisters in Christ, by grasping the spiritual significance of Jesus' "Last Seven Words on the Cross" and engraving them in your heart, may each of you lead a life that is proper in God's sight in this world and dwell forever with the Lord in the most beautiful of all heavenly dwelling places, in the name of Our Lord I bless!


 

 

 
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