In 1707, Isaac Watts published his now famous hymn "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross". The last two lines of that song read "love so amazing, so divine demands my soul, my life, my all." The Love of Christ displayed at Calvary certainly was amazing and divine and in response we must give Him everything that we are.
Last week, we looked at the first three phrases that Christ uttered from the Cross. Today, let's examine the last four:
4. "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" This is one of Jesus' most revealing phrases while on the Cross. The way He address God the Father changes. Initially, He said "Father, forgive them..." but He only says "My God". Why the change? Something happened in the middle of the crucifixion event. The whole world was covered in darkness and God the Father turned His back on His Son. Why would He do that? Because on His Son Jesus was laid the sin of every single person that would ever walk this earth. In that moment, Jesus felt forsaken by the Father. Often, we feel forsaken in our Christian life, but Jesus teaches at the Cross that the feeling of forsakenness is only temporary.
5. "I thirst." Though little attention is ever given to this phrase, it reminds us of a great truth of the Christian faith. In 1 Timothy 6, Paul writes to the young preacher and says "Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness" and the first thing Paul mentions as a part of this mystery is that Christ came in the flesh. God became a man while still remaining God. On the Cross, being true to His humanity, Jesus became thirsty. Though as God His experience was unlike ours, in His humanity, His experience was very much like ours. He grew, He hurt, He was sad, He was happy, He was angry, He wept, He was thirsty and hungry, and He experienced a death like we all will experience.
6. "It is finished." This cry from the Cross was the declaration of Christ that all He had come to do had been done through His life. Jesus cried "it is finished" because He had done the work that His Father had sent Him to do. Not only had He done it, but He had done it well. This was also a reminder to those around Jesus that His death was imminent and He was voluntarily laying His life down for us. They were not taking it. Remember, He is the Resurrection and the Life.
7. "Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit." The final phrase from the Cross was Jesus revealing to us that He and the Father were now once again in total unity. This phrase reminds us that Jesus did not go to Hell to suffer for us when He died, but He went to heaven to advocate for us when He died. Jesus has never been the Devil's whipping boy. This phrase was also uttered by King David in Psalm 22 and by the Apostle Stephen in Acts 7. One day, our Spirit will go to one of two places. We must all make sure we have committed it to the right person.
When we look at the Cross, we see a picture of love. Love has never been expressed in a greater way than at the Cross. Now, it is upon us to respond to the Cross with our devotion and love for God.