SEVEN LESSONS FROM THE CROSS
“Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.” Luke 23:44 – 46
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke at least 7 times when He was on the cross. We can learn lessons from those words. As we prepare to celebrate Easter, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, here are 7 lessons from the words He spoke on the cross.
Lesson 1: FORGIVE PEOPLE THAT HURT YOU
“…Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34
When people hurt us it is hard to believe it could have been unintentional or done in ignorance. Forgiving means refusing to remain a victim by not holding grudges. Forgiveness is a decision and not a feeling. When there is no forgiveness, bitterness takes root and takes away God’s presence. Do yourself a favour and forgive.
LESSON 2: REACH OUT TO OTHERS
“…Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:43
Do you remember the two criminals that were beside Him on the cross? While one mocked, the other recognized his sins and received mercy. Jesus did not focus on His pain but He reached out in love as a fellow-sufferer. It is in reaching out to others that we ourselves are restored again.
LESSON 3: TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE THAT DEPEND ON YOU
“…Behold your mother!” John 19:27
Always, Jesus was more concerned with other people’s needs than His own and we should follow this behavior. When we are entangled in our problems it is to assume that our loved ones automatically understand where we are coming from. Not necessarily. While it is good to let them help, never expect them to suffer because you are suffering.
LESSON 4: DIRECT THE HARD QUESTION TO GOD
“…My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46
Have you ever asked this question? Does this apply to you? If yes, you know from experience that there is not another living soul who has a satisfactory answer to your “Why?” Our loved ones can go so far but only God can pour His healing balm into our wounded heart and make sense of the situation. We need to go to Him for our answers.
LESSON 5: RECOGNIZE YOUR HUMANITY
“…I thirst.” John 19:28
When we are in a dark valley like Jesus was on that day, it can cloud our thinking and make us lose perspective – unless we voice our needs to those around us. By recognizing His physical thirst, Jesus reminded each of us that there are times when we are not self sufficient, when we need help from others. God remembers that we are just human but we are the ones that forget.
LESSON 6: YOU CAN ADD NOTHING
“…It is finished!” John 19:30
Christ’s death covers every sin – from cradle to the grave. And to offer your good works as partial payment, insults God. You cannot add to a finished work! Saving faith requires trusting only in a finished work of Christ!
LESSON 7: RELEASE IT TO GOD
“…Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” Luke 23: 46
Some of the issues we struggle with seem to be never ending, like money worries, family problems and health concerns. Even when we get a break and should be resting, we sit up anticipating the worst. The cross not only calls us to Jesus, it also calls us to a life. Whatever our challenges today, release it to God once and for all. You will experience peace and will not be disappointed with the result.
Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph over His foes
He arose a Victor from the dark domain
And He lives forever with His saints to reign
The resurrection is a fact of history that demands a response of faith.