7 STATEMENTS on THE CROSS
The EASTER SEASON and The SPRING EXPERIENCE : MYSTERY of LIFE, DEATH and REBIRTH : The DEATH AND RESURECTION OF The CHRIST , IN, WITH, AROUND and WITHIN US.
When we look to Jesus, the "author and finisher of our faith," we realizethat "bad day" on Calvary became one which we now call "good". And how it became that can be learned from the message inherent in our Lord's seven statements from the Cross.
1.Forgive everyone who's trying to ruin your life. "Father forgive
them, for they do not know what they do." (Luke 23:34)Through the spirit of
forgiveness, Jesus retains control of the situation when it appears
He's being victimized by it. He is mastering the moment rather than letting
The moment control Him. Forgiving those who seek to injure us allows us to
Be unfettered by the anger or retaliation that would seek to attach itself
2.Help others who are experiencing the same struggle. "Assuredly I say
To you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43) The criminals
On either side of Jesus are experiencing exactly the same agony and
Suffering as He is on the Cross. Rather than focusing on His own pain, He extends
His concern to those who are struggling with infinitely less resource than
He has. In a bad day, it's important to recognize that we aren't alone in
Our struggles others are going through tough times as well, often without a
personal relationship with Christ to help them face their situation.
3.Be sure you've taken care of those near you. "Woman, behold your son... Behold your mother." (John 19:26, 27) Although Jesus is surrounded by turmoil, He is concerned about His mother's personal plight and establishes a domestic responsibility that John willingly accepts. We have a great tendency to presume that those who are closest to us will understand our dilemma and absorb the stress along with us. It's not the spirit of a disciple of Jesus to say, "It's been a bad day for me, so it's going to be a bad day for everyone around me, too." Don't transmit your trauma to others, especially those closest to you.
4.Aim your hard questions at God, not man. "My God, My God, why have
You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46) When you feel sure you've lost touch with
heaven-aim your hard questions at God, not man. Although human beings
may sympathize, none of them have the answer. Job and his comforters are a
classic study in how human philosophies fail. Cry out to God. He doesn't mind our complaints, and although He may seem absent, He's never far away.
5.Be human enough to acknowledge your need. "I thirst!" (John 19:28)
Earlier, Jesus turns down the offer of a pain-dulling drink that could
Have satiated thirst but would have reduced His mental acuity. He chooses to
remain in command of His senses. In contrast, Jesus later asks for a
drink because He wants to clear His throat for the confession of faith He's
about to make. There is no one so spiritual that you can make it through a
bad day without people to help you clarify the stance you're taking of trusting
Also in Luke 22: 18 "For I say to you I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
6.Be assured, there is a purpose and an end. "It is finished!" (John
19:30) These are the words we most love about the Cross because they are the
declaration of Jesus' completing our salvation before He dies.
Everything has been fulfilled. It's a statement of triumph that hasn't seen the
Victory yet, but lays hold of it by faith. There's nothing that besets us in
Which God's hand and purpose isn't steadily at work-if we move with Him
through a bad day. Just like He did with Jesus, God can turn our bad day into a
7.Finally, surrender your day to God, and let it go. "Into Your hands
I commit My spirit" (Luke 24:46) The end of a bad day can be the start of
A long night of reliving the struggle with bewildering concern: "When
Will this finally end?" But the way to go through a bad day is to get it
into the hands of God and leave it there. That was how the agony of Calvary came
to its conclusion. This was not a statement of wearied resignation but one
of trust. From the human perspective, Jesus' words indicate a colossal act
of trust in the Father and His fidelity to His own Word.