Today is the day we traditionally celebrate Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday in order to be crucified by the Passover so He could fulfill that feast. He became our Pascal lamb so that we could find salvation and healing. God didn’t withhold from Jesus what was going to happen on Good Friday. He knew what was coming and that means He was very deliberate in the things He said and did.
Today, I want to focus our verses on His final words. I believe they were chosen carefully and given with great urgency. When your time is up, you don’t waste words on trivial things. You focus on what matters and make sure that those around you get any final wisdom or instruction from you. Jesus was no different. His words that Friday were chosen carefully and used to fulfill prophesy as well.
Here are some of Jesus’ final words.
1. Pilate questioned Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He replied to him, “It is as you say.”
MARK 15:2 AMP
2. Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.” They divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice.
Luke 23:34 GNT
3. And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:43 NLT
4. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Matthew 27:46 NLT
5. When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and [voluntarily] gave up His spirit.
JOHN 19:30 AMP
When it comes to taking a test, there are two main methods: taking your time and cramming. I usually found myself on the cramming side. I remember staying up all night trying to get as much information in my head in as little time as possible. When you’re up against a deadline, an all nighter is common. Deadlines make force us to focus and put our energy into what’s critical to us at that moment. Remember the last time you were up against a deadline? You got rid of all distractions and did what was necessary.
Jesus faced a literal deadline. He knew that He would be sacrificed as a Passover lamb. The night before His crucifixion, He pulled an all nighter with His disciples. He spent all night helping them to cram as much information as they could before He died. He focused on the critical things with them. He showed them servant leadership, had supper with them, then gave them final instructions. In John 14:1, I believe He said one of the most important things to them, and it applies to us today.
He said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (NLT). That word “let” means to allow. He told us not to allow our hearts to be troubled, anxious, or worried. We have control of that by choosing what we think about and who we trust in. Jesus was telling them, and us, “Don’t panic. I got this. Trust me.” He knew that the disciples were about to feel like sheep without a shepherd. He was reminding them that when life gets chaotic, He may not be visible, but He’s there with us. We can trust Him to work His plan.
If you believe in Jesus, then you have to know that our God is not a hands off God. He is one who is intimately involved in our day to day lives. We can put our trust in Him instead of in the uncertainty and chaos of our life. Don’t let your heart be troubled. God is in control. He sees the whole picture of your life, and is working things for your good. You may to see it now, but that’s where faith and trust comes in. If you trust Him and have faith in Him, you don’t have to let worry rule your heart.
Exodus 14 gives the account of the Israelites leaving Egypt and getting to the Red Sea. In verse 8, it says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he chased after “the people of Israel, who left with fists raised in defiance” (NLT). As they walked out of town, they had their fists up in celebration and in victory. For 430 years they had been there. God had finally heard their cries and came to their rescue.
That victory stance suddenly changed when they saw Pharaoh and his army bearing down on them. They went from a victory mindset to a victim mindset in an instant. They quit celebrating and started bellyaching. They complained to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness?” They are like so many of us who forget what God has already done for us. We lose sight of the past in light of the present. We are all guilty of doing this at times.
Moses spoke to them words that we need to hear when our faith turns into fear. Verses 13 and 14 say, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Great words spoken by God to us in whatever we are facing. Don’t be afraid. Watch the Lord rescue you. The Lord will fight for you. Just stay calm. I believe God is trying to tell us the same thing.
I don’t know what you’re up against today, but it’s no match for what God can do. I don’t know how trapped you feel, or how much your back is up against a wall, but if God can part the Red Sea, He can make a way where there seems to be no way. Your situation only seems big because it’s out of perspective. Yes, it’s huge compared to you, but next to God, it’s pretty small and not that complex. Don’t be afraid. Just stay calm. God is already working on your behalf. Trust Him to do what only He can do.