Seven words on the cross (7)




[Luke 23:44-46]



This is the seventh word Jesus said on the cross: “Father into your hands I commend my spirt” (Lk. 23:46).


A scholar named Arthur Pink called this seventh word of Jesus ‘the word of satisfaction.  ‘It was an act of satisfaction, an act of faith, an act of trust, an act of love,’ he said.  Arthur Pink divided this word of satisfaction into seven parts and explained them in detail: (1) Here we see the Savior restored to fellowship with the Father.  (2) Here we see a deliberate contrast.  (3) Here we see Christ's perfect submission to God.  (4) Here we see the absolute uniqueness of the Savior.  (5) Here we see a perfect refuge forever.  (6) Here we see how blessed fellowship with God is.  (7) Here we see the true resting place of the heart.  Today I would like to consider the first of these seven, “Here we see the Savior restored to fellowship with the Father” (Pink).


Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son.  Before the creation of all things, God the Father and Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son, had fellowship in the eternal world.  Look at John 17:5 – “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”  Looking at this prayer that Jesus offered to God before He died on the cross as the high priest, Jesus enjoyed glory and fellowship with God in the eternal world before the foundation of the world.  Not only that, but even with the cross in front, His fellowship with God continued.  Look at John 18:11 – “So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’”  This is what Jesus said when, after praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He went to His captors, and Peter cut off the ear of Malchus, one of the captors (v. 10).  Here, “the cup” Jesus is talking about is the cup of suffering.  This cup is the cup of Father's curse.  Nevertheless, Jesus said He would drink the cup.  In this way Jesus continued His fellowship with His Father.  Also, on the cross, even after Jesus hung for 3 or 6 hours, He continued this fellowship (relationship).  Then, when the darkness passed, Jesus cried out loudly for the first time, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” (meaning: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”) (Mk. 15:33-34).  God forsook Jesus.  This is where Jesus' relationship with God was severed.  Why did God forsake Jesus?  The reason is because of our sins.  Because God is righteous, holy, and pure, He cannot tolerate sin.  God punishes and destroys sin.  Look at Habakkuk 1:13 – “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor ….”  In this way, God is the kind of person who cannot bear to see evil and cannot bear to see rebellion.  In this way, God cannot tolerate sin, but Jesus is without sin.  However, Jesus took on the cross as an innocent sinner, taking on my sins and our sins.  Look at Isaiah 53:4-6: “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.  All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.”  He was sinless, but He took on all our sins and died on the cross in our place.  Jesus was forsaken in our place.  So He did this for us to be reconciled to God.  Look at Romans 5:10 – “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”  He has reconciled us in this way, but how did this happen?  Look at Luke 23:46 – “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’  When he had said this, he breathed his last.”  In this passage, Jesus did not cry out loudly, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (a state in which the relationship with God was severed), but said loudly, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  This shows that our relationship with Heavenly Father has been restored.


In this way, the sinless Jesus did not end by receiving the punishment and dying on the cross in our place but resurrected on the third day.  And the first thing Jesus did was teach us that God is the Father.  Look at John 20:17 – “Jesus said to her, ‘Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'”  Here, Jesus tells Mary, “Go to My brethren” and say, “My Father,” that is, as the Father of Jesus Christ, Jesus and Heavenly Father are in a father-son relationship, that is, “your Father,” that is, God is our Father.  And we are children of God.  Then what kind of children are we?  Look at Romans 8:15 – “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’”  We have become children of God who can call God “Abba! Father.”  This relationship has been established.  Look at Romans 8:17 – “and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”  As children of God, we have become heirs — heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.  Therefore, as joint heirs with Christ, we must also suffer with Christ.  There is suffering because we are following Jesus Christ.  That suffering is not worth comparing with the glory we shall receive [(v. 18) “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us”].


Jesus, who remained silent on the cross, cried out twice.  He cried out once, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (Mt. 27:46) and another time, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Lk. 23:46).  In this way, because of Jesus' loud cry out twice, we have become the heirs who can inherit everything of God, calling Heavenly Father “Father.”  So it does not end with our suffering on this earth, but there follows an incomparable glory.  Therefore, I hope and pray that all of us can live a victorious life in hope while looking at glory in sufferings.