Date: April 2011
Searching the Scriptures
“Search the Scriptures… They are they which testify of Me. “ John 5:39”
Author: Bob Moses
The Seven Utterances of Jesus From the Cross
Seventh, The Word of Contentment! “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit: and having said thus, He gave up His Spirit.” (Luke 23:46).
Observe, first and foremost that Jesus cried “with a loud voice”. He had hung there upon the Cross for six hours, the last three hidden from the Father. Yet He cried with a “loud voice”. He still had strength, He did not merely expire, He “gave-up” His spirit. No one took it from Him.
This last utterance from the lips of our Lord, from the Cross was the seventh. Seven is the number of completeness or perfection; it is also the number of rest from a complete work. Remember God created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. Six marks the end of a work and seven marks the entitlement to rest. Here Christ finished the work God had given Him to do. Recall His sixth utterance; “It is finished”. What was finished? The work the Father had assigned Him, His sacrifice upon the Cross for the benefit of mankind that through Him man could find salvation.
Seven times the dying Saviour spoke from the Cross. Three concerned men: to the dying thief He said; “Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise”; the third utterance He stated; “Woman, behold thy Son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother!” commending the care of His mother to the apostle John. Finally, His humanity comes through in His fifth utterance; “I thirst”. Four of the utterances were God-ward. The first; “Father, forgive them; for they know now what they do”; the fourth, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” The sixth; “it is finished”, in this one He was speaking to the Father, that He had completed His work. And now the seventh; “ Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit”. Each of these utterances, all seven, were prophetic from the Old and New Testament’s, so that we would know the Messiah when He came upon the scene of history. Yet, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not”. He goes on to say; “another will come in his own name, and him you will receive”, meaning, of course, the anti-Christ in the last days.
Very briefly; let us list the prophecy of each utterance. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” Fulfilled, (Isa. 53:12)—“He made intercession for the transgressors.” He promised the thief, “Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise,” Fulfilled, (Matt. 1:21) when the angel of the Lord said to Joseph; “thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sin”. He said, “Woman, behold thy Son,”; Fulfilled the prophecy of Simeon “A sword shall pierce through thy own soul also” (Luke 2:35). He cried, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Fulfilled by the identical words of Psa. 22:1. “I thirst”, Fulfilled Psa. 69:21—“In My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.” “It is finished,” Fulfilled by almost the very words from the twenty-second Psalm where we read “He hath done,” or “He hath finished,”, namely, the Work of Atonement. And finally, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit,” Fulfilled in Psa. 31. O the wonders of the Scriptures!
“Father.” How often this word was upon the Saviour’s lips! His first recorded utterance was, “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” In the Sermon on the Mount” He speaks of the “Father” seventeen times. To the disciples in the “pascal discourse” from John 14-16, the word “Father” is used forty-five times! In John 17, In His “priestly prayer”, He speaks six times more regarding the Father. And here the last utterance from His lips he says, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit”.
The Lord Jesus died as none other ever did. His life was not taken from Him; He laid it down of Himself. “therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again” (John 10: 17, 18). We have now come to the end. Christ, the perfect master of Himself, unconquered by death. He cries with a loud voice of un-exhausted strength, and delivers up His spirit into the hands of the Father, and in this His uniqueness was manifested. None else ever did this or died thus. His birth was unique, His life was unique, His death also was unique. In “laying down” His life, His death was differentiated from all other deaths. He died by an act of His own volition! Who but a Divine Person could have done this? It was a proof of His perfection and uniqueness. He died like the Prince of Life! Hebrew’s: 9: 27, tells us; “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. With man it is death first, and then the judgment; with the Saviour the order was reversed. He endured the judgment of God against our sins, upon the tree, and then He died.
May God bless you and yours! It is my prayer that you have gleaned something from this “Searching the Scriptures” study. Please feel free to opine.
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With much help from A.W. Pink and other commentators.