Good Friday was not a good day for Jesus. Each of us will experience bad days and times of trouble sometimes in our lives. On the cross, Jesus left us seven statement which will help us to overcome our struggles.
- Forgive everyone who is trying to harm you (Luke 23:34)
Father forgive them for they do not know what they do
We need to learn the art of forgiveness because forgiving those who hurt us is the key to not being victimized. Jesus pointed us to a starting point in dealing with the hurt that people inflict on our lives, and that starting places is in realizing that people do not know what they are doing.
- Help others who are experiencing your same struggle (Luke 23:43)
Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise.
It is easy to be blinded to the needs of others around us when all we can see is our own problems, but Jesus revealed that we need to look past our own difficulty. In comforting others, we too will be comforted when our own problems fade into obscurity because of our love and concern for others.
- Be sure you have taken care of those nearest you (John 19:26-7)
Woman, behold your son!...Behold your mother!
Whatever the family issue may be, we are distracted from God's business until we settle it.
- Aim your hard questions at God, not Man (Matthew 27:46)
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
We should never be afraid to come to God with any question; no matter how hard, ridiculous, or difficult we might think it sounds.
- Be human enough to acknowledge your need (John 19:28)
We need to humble ourselves and ask for help.
- Be assured, there is a purpose and an end (John 19:30)
It is finished!
This was not a cry of defeat, but of mission accomplished, a triumph! His call "It is finished!" is our call to hold firm in this assurance..the sovereignty power of Jesus will sustain us and will ultimately win the day.
- Finally surrender your adversity to God and let it go! (Luke 23:46)
Into your hands I commit my spirit
When we are in the middle of a struggle, hanging on to our branch on the side of a cliff, God won't help us until we learn to let go. As long as we are clinging to the branch, we are either trusting in our own finite power, or we are calling out for help from someone or something other than God. The Lord will not forcibly take control of our lives. We have to willingly give Him the control before he can and will help us.
May these reflections on the Seven last words of Jesus lead you to and through Holy Thursday and Good Friday to the final....EASTER!!!
Rev. Patti Napier
"Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God for you have stumbled because of your iniquity." Hosea 14:1