Three words from the Crucified Savior

Its an interesting study to consider the seven sayings of Christ on the cross. It is of especial interest to consider why the four evangelists record the words of Christ in the way that they do. For instance, consider the three words that the apostle John records in chapter 19. The first saying is Jesus’ care for His mother. While it is true that Jesus showed loving care to the end it is equally true that He was fulfilling the Law of God for us. We have, every one of us, broken that command to ‘honor your father and your mother.’ This means that we deserve God’s wrath and curse for every time we have dishonored our parents. But the glorious truth is that Jesus was nailed to cross to bear that punishment in His own body while at the same time He was fulfilling the command when He entrusted His mother to the care of one of His faithful disciples.

The second word that John records is that cry, “I thrist.” It is interesting to note that the apostle John had taken a special interest in the matter of spiritual thirst and satisfaction in His record. Remember the woman at the well (John 4). It was to her that Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it was who said to you, ‘give Me a drink,’ you would have asked of Him and He would have given you living waters.” And in John 7 Jesus cried out, “Whoever is thirsty let him come to Me and drink, and, and the Scriptures have said, “Out of His heart will flow rivers of living waters.” In the words of Sinclair Ferguson, “It is almost as if you have to wait to the end of the Gospel to find out how it is that Jesus takes away this spiritual thirst.” It is by His own thirsting on the cross, under the hand of a just God, that we can now have our spiritual thirst taken away.

The third word of the cross that John records is that glorious saying of our Lord, “It is finished.” It hardly needs mentioning that this is one of the most comforting passages of Scripture for the believer. Jesus finished the work that the Father had given Him to do. His whole life was one of conscious purpose in heading to the cross for the sake of His people. Just as He had looked back on all that He had created in the beginning and pronounced it good, so Jesus now looked back at all that He had done in the work of redemption and pronounced it good. The word, you will know, is nothing less than a banking term that means ‘paid in full.’
And Jesus did pay for our sins in full on the cross. He was the ransom for our souls. The costly sacrifice that paid our debts.

All the sayings of our Lord, while He was on the cross, reflect the nature of His saving work on the cross. Unless He kept the law for us and took the curse of the law in our place we could not be saved. As we consider the words of our Lord on the cross we find an inexhastible fountain of life. There is no way to plum the depths of all of God’s wisdom in the death of His Son. May we be encouraged to look deep into the wells of salvation and drink deeply from the One who thirsted for us that we might never thirst again. He has finished the work of redemption and has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. May we find new hope as we look to the One who was lifted up on the tree for us.

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