Luke 23:34 This is a word of forgiveness.
Do you see what Jesus is doing here? He’s interceding to God Almighty on behalf of those who are tormenting Him. And what is He asking? He’s asking that God might be merciful and graciously pardon them from their sins so that they too may one day enjoy eternal paradise in heaven with Him. Wow!
Is that how we picture forgiveness? How do we act? “Why should I forgive them! Look at what they did to me!” “Maybe I’ll forgive them…if they show me they’re sorry first!” Is that true forgiveness?
Thank the Lord that Jesus spoke these words. Jesus shows us true forgiveness. Forgiveness begins in the heart of the One who’s forgiving. Because that’s God’s heart, your forgiveness is authentic. Forgiveness is complete. Forgiveness is lasting. Forgiveness is freely given.
By dying on the cross that’s exactly the forgiveness Jesus has given to you!
Luke 23:43 This is a word of hope.
The criminal had hope. Maybe he had hoped for riches and earthly glory. Maybe he had hoped for getting an earthly paradise from crime and dishonesty. Now his pathetic hope was lost as he hung on a cross as a pathetic criminal. What about our hope? Hope for a good life, hope for a long retirement, hope for a healthy, successful, better life? But how fast can any of those hopes fail and disappoint?
Thank the Lord He speaks this word of hope. To a criminal who had no earthly hope, Jesus gives true hope. To us who need sure hope, Jesus gives true hope. “Today you will be with me in paradise.” That is a hope that will never change, fail, or disappoint. That is a hope that is certain, sure, and true. That hope knows that an eternal paradise in heaven awaits Jesus’ followers.
By dying on the cross that is exactly the hope Jesus has given you!
John 19:26-27 This is a word of personal care.
I’ll never be able to fathom what Jesus is enduring when He speaks these words! The physical pain, the physical exhaustion, and yet even more than that…incomprehensible soul torment of bearing the sins of the world! It’s easy for us to assume Jesus was at this moment concerned only with this great, big, glob of sinful humanity as a whole.
And so for us He speaks this word, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” In the height of suffering He’s concerned about the individual. He’s concerned about His mother’s earthly needs. He cares about her welfare. He also cares about you, the individual. He cares about your earthly needs. He cares about your surgery, your job, your marriage, your homework.
By dying on the cross Jesus shows His concern for you, personally and individually.