Seven Last sayings on the CROSS – Message 1
Journey with me today through the last day of the life of Christ. Our
journey will take us to a place far away called Calvary.
Calvary, known in the Hebrew as Golgotha, was the place of the skull –
the place of death. Walk with me up that path today as we see the Son of God
hanging on an old rugged cross.
Watch with me, as the innocent-One dies there for you and I. The “Just
for the unjust.” The pure for the defiled. The sinless for the sinner. The
Creator for His creation.
Watch as He who knew no sin will become sin for you and me.
May we listen in as God in the flesh speaks His last dying words to all
Up until to this moment, through all the beatings and torture, Jesus was
silent – dumb – like a sheep that is led to the slaughter!
As He is accused
As He is mocked
As He is whipped
As He is led through the city of Jerusalem – says in Luke 23:28-30, Daughters
of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are
the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills,
As His hands and feet are nailed to a roughly cut cross
Never did He cry out for vengeance
Never did He demand justice
Never did He fight back at all the injustice of everything swirling
He was quiet, and didn’t bruise a broken reed as He paced Himself
through every step of that last long day!
But, during the last 6 hours of His life, Jesus will speak, very briefly
seven times. Four of His utterances were prayers to His Father in Heaven.
Amazing isn’t it! In the midst of such pain, He spent most of His energy on
praying. Christ always placed a premium on prayer.
Let’s briefly list the seven final times Jesus spoke!
Luke 23:34, “Father,
forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
19:26,27, “Woman, behold thy son! Behold thy mother!”
Luke 23:43, “Verily
I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
27:46, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken
19:28, “I Thirst”
23:46, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
19:30, “It is finished”
Notice that His first utterance was a prayer. And what a powerful prayer
It was because of this one prayer that anybody can be born again,
forgiven adopted into the family of God, made completely new again!
And it is because of this one prayer, that backslidden Christians can
know they are secure in Christ, no matter how low they go in this life!
The purpose of studying these few words from the cross are to enable us
to LIVE in what Christ purchased for us on that cross
WHAT did Jesus purchase for us – most of all – FORGIVENESS!
first answer the question, WHEN Did He Pray?
Our text in Luke 23:33,34 simply records, “And when they were come
to the place, which is called Calvary ... then said Jesus, Father forgive them”
Actually, His whole life had been an example of the importance of prayer.
He told his disciples, in Luke 18:1 “... men ought always to
pray...”. Every place that Jesus went became a place of prayer.
This was no exception.
How quickly does prayer fade out of our lives
What is prayer?
That time in your life, however brief it may be, when heaven and your
earthly life meet
Prayer is your heart touching the heart of an almighty God
It is the moment when all your needs are summarized, presented,
considered by God, and then answered – all at the speed of prayer
We pray most when we are in the biggest of troubles
But do we like Christ, pray for strength and victory, or out of defeat?
The hymn goes, “There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of
God. A place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God. There is a place
of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God. A place where we our Saviour meet,
near to the heart of God. There is a place of full release, near to the heart of
God. A place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God.”
In times of trial, there is nothing as important as the time spent in
Where you get the strength you need to live the life Jesus called you to
AND, where you rise above your needs and begin to pray for others!
To WHOM Did Jesus Pray?
It was not to His mother
He did not look to His mother even though she was right there!
Mary has no place in Christ’s life after He left home. From the time
Jesus was a grown man, He refers to Mary simply as “Woman.” That is all. He
never looks to her for direction – He is a MAN, not a apron-string controlled
wimp of a mouse!
And let me add, Jesus does not look to the prayers, or requests or wisdom
of His mother today! He is GOD!
It was not to the Holy Spirit either! No one EVER prayed to the Holy
Spirit. No one ever talked to the Holy Spirit.
So whom DOES Jesus direct His prayer to? The One He always looked to!
Jehovah God in heaven – who made heaven and earth
The only Being in the universe who can answer every prayer
Notice the term, Father – God is a PERSON!
Jesus referred to His Father as “Father” but also as “Abba” –
Oh let me tell you – God designed this world to need Daddies! Good
Daddies! Like God the Father! NOT God the Mother!
Here, on the cross, we see a tender moment between Father and Son
What a window into the most wonderful of relationships that exists in the
And do you realize what is amazing in all this?
That we are invited into that same relationship
Heb 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Rom 8:15says, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to
fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby WE cry, Abba,
For much of the religions of the world, prayer is a duty, a chore, a
ritual. For them, prayer is often a complicated action that requires a good deal
of effort. Religious leaders constantly suggest that prayers should be written
by professionals and then read by common folks. For much of the world the only
prayer they know are memorized prayers learned as a child or in some class about
religion. Some go so far as to require the use of candles, special prayer alters
and body symbols or hand movements so that prayers are more effective. BUT, for
the child of God, prayer is just simple talk between a child and their heavenly
Father, who hears every sigh and every wish!
Aren’t you glad Jesus taught us how to pray? Even on the cross!!!
FOR WHOM did He Pray?
Oh, now it gets really good!
His prayer was for “them”
Not His friends, but enemies,
Not the innocent but the guilty
Not those who had received Him but rather those who rejected Him.
What a pattern for our life, to learn how to rightly to respond to those
who do us wrong.
Illust. Small child spanked by Mom. On his knees that evening before bed
he prays for everyone in his family, but one. When finished, he looked up at his
Mom and proudly said, “I guess you noticed. I did not include you!” It is
always easy to pray for friends and loved ones. BUT, Christ was praying for the
Those who had turned on Him and cried Crucify Him!
He was praying for those Roman soldiers who had just whipped the flesh of
His body to shreds!
Those who drove the nails into His hands and feet.
He was praying for those who had spit in His face.
He was praying for those who had mocked Him. Do you understand that
Christ was praying for a bunch of religious zealots called Pharisees and
political zealots called Sadducees, that they would be forgiven as He took their
He was also praying for the disciples who had forsaken Him
He was praying for Pilate, and Herod
He was praying not for those who did minor, venial sins, but for a crowd
of, in catholic terms, mortal sinners – these were MURDERERS who were
committing REGICIDE – they were killing their own King!
He was praying for sinners like you and me.
Prayer becomes real when we are moved to pray for forgiveness (not
justice or judgment) for those who have done us wrong.
Always remember WHO Jesus prayed for – US! He looked out into the
future, and saw my sinful, wretched life, and said, FORGIVE HIM!
Wow! Never forget WHO it was that he prayed that prayer for!
For WHAT did He Pray?
Now, as I just mentioned, Jesus prayed for the act of forgiveness
Normally, we would expect someone in such a circumstance to pray,
“Father, CONSUME them! They know EXACTLY what they are doing, and ought not be
able to get away with it!”
But, LISTEN to that word - “Forgive”
Someone has said one of the sweetest words in the English language is
“forgiveness.” Maybe even sweeter than to forgive, is to BE forgiven.
Mt 9:2, Son,
be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven
18:21,22, Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin
against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not
unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
And when ye stand praying, forgive,
if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive
you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive,
neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive
John 8:11, And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and
sin no more.
Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a
Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through
this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light,
and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins,
and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
You see, Jesus had ONE great purpose in His prayer – it is the same as
the purpose for Him coming to this world, and being on the cross! The purchasing
of the forgiveness of all mankind for all time – if they would just accept it!
Forgiveness means: The removal of the record!
It is the greatest act of any individual, because it is an act that only
God can teach us to do! It is NOT in us to forgive – not like God does!
When man forgives, there is always a scare
When God forgives, even the memory of the sin is erased!
is NOT just blindly given out. Listen to Luke 17:3, “If thy brother trespass
against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive
God has done is clearly show us our sinfulness – the OT Law
then showed us the COST of our sinfulness – death and hell
then showed us His great love – taking OUR place on the cross
therefore purchased by His own death, the priceless gift of the forgiveness of
all sins and spiritual debt against us
now waits for any and all to repent (have remorse, be very sorry for your
sinfulness) and call upon the name of Jesus to give them that gift – all by
faith, and not by religious works!
are just three simple steps:
sinner says, I am sorry – key words – not for just one sin, or even many
sins, but for ALL my sins, past present and future!
says, You are hereby Forgiven - it is THEN that the sinner, on their knees as a
lost and hopeless case finds true forgiveness, and becomes a child of God, and
best of all, FORGIVEN!
new child of God must then simply say, Thank You! For forgiving me!
is no salvation without those three elements!
Did He Have to Pray?
Jesus says, “They know not what they do.”
Christ understood that very few men realize the severity of rejecting
The crucifiers of Christ knew not what they were doing. They that speak
ill of the cross speak ill of that which they know not.
I don’t think anybody ever understands the extent of our sins, their
effect on others and upon God
I really don’t believe we understand just how wicked, and awful our
sinful natures are
How many people really realize there is a hell, and that just ONE sin
makes them qualified for a devil’s hell for all eternity?
How many well-educated people, religiously educated, and very zealous
people realize just how bad a sinner they all are? “ALL our righteousness are
as filthy rags” (Isa 64:6)
made intercession NOT for good people, but for transgressors,
as was foretold (Isa
This prayer of Christ was answered not long after, in Acts 2, when many
of those that had a hand in his death were converted by Peter’s preaching.
This is written for an example to us.
First, we must call upon God the Father, and come to him with reverence
and confidence, as children to a father, and repent. Realise that we are
sinners, and should be on the cross ourselves – dying for our own sins!
Secondly, The great thing we must beg of God, is the forgiveness of sins.
Thirdly, We must pray for our enemies, and those that hate and persecute
us, must extenuate their offences, and not aggravate them as we must our own
(They know not what they do; peradventure it was an oversight); and we must be
earnest with God in prayer for the forgiveness of their sins, their sins against
This is Christ’s example (Mt 5:44-45), Love your enemies; Hey, if
Christ loved and prayed for such enemies, what enemies can we have that we are
not obliged to love and pray for?
Specifically, Jesus teaches us how to pray to God the Father for our
enemies to be forgiven, because only He knows their heart, and so wants to
Bible Baptist Church Blarney
29 Westcourt Heights
Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland