April 3, 2017

Jesus’ Last Words Through Our Eyes

With Easter drawing near, my heart turns to the cross. Will you join me for a journey?Let’s imagine for the next few minutes we have followed the crowds outside of Jerusalem, to the place of Jesus’ execution. We find ourselves at Golgotha (the Place of a Skull, also known as Calvary), watching and listening, as the soldiers nail Jesus to the cross.

It’s early in the day.

What do we see?

Jesus hanging on a cross before us, suffering excruciating pain.

What do we hear?

A noisy, unruly crowd all around us. The pounding of nails. The mocking of skeptics. The weeping of loved ones.

But let’s lean in a bit closer.

Let’s listen for Jesus’ words.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

We don’t hear angry, hate-filled words. No appeal for a rescue. Jesus’ first words from the cross is a prayer. Words of forgiveness. We aren’t sure for whom He is praying. The Roman soldiers, Pilate and Herod? The vindictive mob crying, “crucify Him?” Those who betrayed Him? Yes, for all of these. But His Words are also for you and me. He spoke of this moment as He walked among us.

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43

Looking to the left and to the right of Jesus, we see Him hanging between two thieves. Both hurl insults at Jesus (Matthew 27:44), but, soon thereafter, one of them rebukes the other. Something shifts deep within Him right before our very eyes. He sees his sin. He repents. Jesus extends grace. What does this mean? With Jesus, it’s never too late.

“‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold. your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:26-27

From the cross, we see Jesus’ eyes search to and fro for his mother. When he finds her, he calls to her and tenderly provides for her. He entrusts her to His beloved friend John. We stand amazed. Even in His suffering, Jesus cares about her needs!

The early part of the day has passed. It’s now noon. The earth goes dark. Blackness consumes the day.

“‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” Matthew 27:46

Jesus suffers His deepest, darkest hours. Our sin, mine and yours, overcomes His body, crushing Him (Isaiah 53:10, 2 Cor. 5:21). But, Jesus doesn’t climb down off the cross. He doesn’t beg for mercy. He remains. We look at each other, tears in our eyes. Where is God? Why has God allowed this? How could He watch this from His throne in Heaven. Jesus cries out to His Father. He feels it too. Yet He still remains. Though He cannot see His Father’s face, Jesus must know He is there. Jesus must trust He is listening.

“I am thirsty.” John 19:28

We look at each other? We heard him say many times He is both human and divine. We know God doesn’t get thirsty, yet Jesus is thirsty. More proof. He is indeed who He said He is. And haven’t we heard these words somewhere before? Yes! Remember Psalm 69:3, “My soul is parched” and  Psalm 29:21, “They gave me vinegar for my thirst.” Jesus knew these Scriptures. He now fulfills them before our eyes.

“It is finished.” John 19:30

We look at each other. Jesus moan or mumble these words. He speaks them clearly, precisely, intentionally. What is finished? He declares them like it’s a declaration of triumph and victory. We both realize something. All the prophecies we heard Him speak over these past years are being fulfilled, in this moment, before our very eyes. The hard fought battle begun in the Garden of Eden now won by the Son of God (Gen. 3:15). Hallelujah!

“Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit!” Luke 23:46

We stand in awe. The weight of what we have witnessed falls hard and full. Jesus has done it. Fulfilled every word of Scripture. Kept His every promise. He willingly allowed Himself to fall into the hands of His own created ones … to be mocked, tortured, persecuted, and ultimately executed like the worst of criminals … for us! Every step of the way trusting in the love of His Father. Knowing and trusting nothing and no one could snatch Him away.

I hope you have enjoyed our time together at the foot of the cross. Thank you for joining me. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please take a moment and share what God spoke to your heart.

May each of you have a blessed and joyous Easter.

Comments

  1. Thank you Miss Wendy for “humanizing” our Father…I seem to forget that sometimes..I tend to see Him as maybe “not relating” to my struggles…but He has been the MOST Faithful and True one in my Life..Thank you again..A Blessed Resurrection Sunday to you and yours my Sister…

  2. Cherie K says:

    Thank you Wendy! It is so easy to glaze over what happened and the human aspects of what it was like for everyone. What a great reminder to help us see how much He loves us and what He went through to save us. I pray you will have a wonderful joyous Easter celebration. He is risen!

  3. Thank you Wendy. Your devotional is a reminder to see how big it is the love our of father. Only Him can do and He is who He is. Our good father. He is with us. Happy Easter.

  4. Jo Ryan says:

    Thanks Wendy! Tears in my eyes, grateful for an amazing Savior, which words can never adequately describe! Thankful for His great love and forgiveness! Thankful for you too for your teaching! May you and your family have a blessed Easter!

  5. Thank you this is exactly what I needed to read this morning.
    Blessings.

  6. Oh Wendy. This wildfire love is so hard to wrap our hearts around. It seems too good to be true… but it’s absolutely true. Thank you for this most beautiful portrait of our Papa’s love seen through His Son… the risen Christ Jesus. I love you my very dear friend… xoxo

  7. He willingly allowed Himself to fall into the hands of His own created ones … to be mocked, tortured, persecuted, and ultimately executed like the worst of criminals … for us! That just struck a chord with me….What love!!

  8. Dee Dawson says:

    Thank you Wendy. With tears in my eyes, I am so thankful for Jesus. The way you wrote this , made me see Jesus and what he went through in a new light. Bless you Wendy,

  9. Such a blessing to read this today. Thank you Wendy!

  10. Thank you Wendy..I really appreciate you bringing me into this experience and reminding me Who my Lord is and what unconditional love looks like!

  11. Mary Palm says:

    Thank you, Wendy, for sharing these 7 last times that Jesus speaks. What is amazing is that two days ago on Sunday, our pastor included these 7 times in his sermon. I am so overwhelmed hearing them and the love behind the words each time Jesus spoke them. Hearing twice like this, I think the LORD is speaking to me to review each one carefully now and see what the Holy Spirit wants to teach me. What stands out immediately is Jesus sacrificial love for us…His willingness to take our place for our penalty from our sins, His walk of forgiveness and His surrendered will to His Father, our Father, too. Thank you for speaking what the Holy Spirit wants us to hear at this moment in life. Your gift of teaching God’s Word has truly blessed me.
    Bee Blessed my dear sister in the LORD.
    Mary L. Palm

  12. Mare Hindall says:

    Thank you Wendy for taking me to the foot of the cross to be reminded of the love Jesus has for me. That is why Easter is my favorite holiday. Because Jesus made all things new again, through his death, burial and resurrection. God’s blessings to you. Have a blessed Easter.

  13. Oh Wendy! I loved reading this from this perspective. It makes it so real, I visualized everything so much clearer. Beautiful! Thank you.

  14. Thank you for these words Wendy! What a joy to stand at the cross with you! What hit me was the humility of Jesus – Matthew 11:29 tells us He is gentle and humble and the life He lived proves it. This brings to mind Philippians 2:5 – “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…”

    As I read this the other thought that came was someday we will stand together…not at the cross, but because of the cross and what a glorious day that will be.

    Thankful.

  15. Very chilling! Thank you Wendy for making it real.

  16. I wonder if I would have stayed or ran away. I have done both in my life journey.

    This visual you gave of scripture transported me to Jesus’ last moments. What do I do? Comfort a mother? Comfort a brother or sister? Comfort a friend or ask for comfort for myself? A moment of self doubt, a moment of knowledge. Would I help bring the spices to the tomb? Or hide in the upper room? I have been both the bold believer and the scared women. Jesus forgive me! Thank You Jesus for Your forgiveness.

    It also transported me to a time as a young child watching an “Easter” show on TV, the scene was a misty fog, the hands of Jesus and the nails being pounded into the hands of Jesus. In that moment I cried Jesus forgive me! Let me Know YOU more! So began my journey to know and love Jesus with my whole heart, mind and soul. Jesus forgive me! I know I have failed time and again. Thank You Jesus for Your love and forgiveness time and again.

    Wendy thank you for touching my heart today and putting me in the right frame of mind for this holy season
    Blessings n Peace MaryG

  17. Sharon Serrano says:

    Absolutely love! I could totally visualize it and like Mary G wonder what would I have done?
    Regardless of what my choice would have been, what stands out to me most was how in his physical suffering, maybe even in his battle of the mind, He pushed through for the sinner on the cross, for the mockers, for his mother, for me. Even on the cross, having been rejected and despised, the message of reconciliation with our heavenly Father was louder than the pain. Leading me to ask myself….. What things do I need to press through for the sake of drawing others to Christ? Dying to self…(Insert dramatic emoji crying face).

    Blown away. Thank you Wendy.

  18. He went through so much pain and suffering for us. Before we were even sinners, he took it upon the cross to save us. I cry in sadness and joy for all that He has done for us. He loves us so much, so unconditionally. I am so in awe of my Lord. We don’t deserve what He gives us, but He gives us anyway. By His grace we are saved. Love being His child. So awesome insight into the story at the cross. Thank you for sharing Wendy. <3 ya Sister in Christ

  19. Thank you Wendy! Tears in my eyes as I read this. All I can say is THANK YOU JESUS. I love You Lord.

Speak Your Mind

*