Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 21 Number 3 March 2019
Page 7

Seven Final Words

Mark N. PoseyJesus Christ spoke seven final statements during His last hours on the cross. Christians cherish these phrases because they offer insight into the depth of His suffering to accomplish redemption. The seven last words of Jesus are presented here in chronological order.

  1. The word of Forgiveness: “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). Jesus prayed for the many that had put Him on the cross. In doing so, He fulfilled Matthew 5:44. “Them” includes us (Romans 5:8; John 3:16). Jesus fulfilled prophecy: “made intercession for the transgressors”(Isaiah 53:12).
  2. The word of Salvation: “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). This 11th hour conversion might seem unfair; however, Jesus is true to His word of Grace. Paradise (paradeisos) represents Heaven, the presence of God (2 Corinthians 12:4).
  3. The word of Affection: “Woman, behold, your son!” (John 19:26-27). Jesus demonstrated the value and the importance of selflessness. Even at the end He was others-focused. Christians are selfless, Christ-centered and heavenward bound (Colossians 3:1-4).
  4. The word of Despair: “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). These repeated words depict the intense agony Jesus experienced on the Cross and fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 22. These words also depict a deep relationship with God because they are directed to Him.
  5. The word of Physical Torment: “I thirst” (John 19:28). Jesus refused the pain-numbing drink (vinegar mixed with myrrh, Mark 15:23), choosing to experience the complete pain and agony of crucifixion. Now, He received a sponge lifted to Him on hyssop that contained sour-wine (vinegar) for parched lips and dry throat so He could utter a great cry.
  6. The word of Triumph: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). The word tetelestai (“It is finished”) was written on business documents or receipts in New Testament times to indicate a bill had been paid in full. Jesus paid our debt in full on the cross. Jesus came to earth to reconcile God and man; He did so at the cross.
  7. The word of Committal: “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46). When His work was finished, Jesus gave up His spirit to the Father. He did this when and how He wanted. Jesus was not a victim to be pitied, but a conqueror to be admired and loved.

Let us never forget that Jesus died for you and me.

Unhappy Marriages
Are Not God’s Fault

Clarence Lavender

Marriage is not a human arrangement, but it is ordained of God (Genesis 2:18, 24; Hebrews 13:4). It is an obligation to faithfulness, not only to each other, but also to God. It is more than a legal contract. It is a partnership with each other and with God. Marriage is a union of a man and a woman in need of one another. One of the reasons that marriage is in crisis today is because many have lost this sense of being needed.

The crisis in marriage can be seen in that one out of four marriages is broken by divorce. In fact, more divorces are granted in the United States each year than the rest of the world combined. Of the three remaining, desertion takes its painful toll. Of the two that stay together, many are emotionally shattered and functionally do not work. One out of the four is happily married.

Since the odds are against a successful marriage, it is to our advantage to watch for symptoms of troubled marriages. Some symptoms are (1) loss of interest in family members and family activities, (2) loss of interest in caring for the house and personal property, (3) a sense of “drifting apart,” (4) chronic and unresolved conflicts, (5) lower than usual achievement levels, (6) poor interpersonal relations at home and other places, (7) defensiveness and overprotection, (8) marked changes in behavior, (9) undue suspicion of the other’s behavior, (10) low level of control over emotions, (11) chronic depression, (12) extremes in behavior, (13) overreaction to situations and (14) distorted and confused communications.

God has given us principles if they are followed whereby our marriages can be strengthened. A few of these are (1) making marriage a partnership (Genesis 2:18), (2) showing an interest in each other, his or her work (Philippians 2:4), (3) being unselfish (1 Corinthians 13:5), (4) never being jealous of in-law relations (Proverbs 6:34), (5) being tolerant (Matthew 7:3), (6) being pleasant (Proverbs 16:24), (7) keeping a merry heart (Proverbs 15:13), (8) hearing a matter completely before answering it (Proverbs 18:13), (9) speaking fitting words (Proverbs 25:11) and (10) being forgiving (Colossians 3:13).

Unhappy marriages are not God’s fault. He has given us principles by which to live. God doesn’t fail people. They fail themselves.

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