Posted inForthright Magazine

Seven Sayings of Jesus (Intro)

Long ago Moses climbed atop Mt. Sinai to see and hear wonderful things from the mouth of God. When we study the Gospels we ascend a Hill called Golgotha – the place of the skull – to hear the voice of God’s dying Lamb.

In the distance, we hear the low, bleating sound of a Lamb that has been mercilessly and mortally wounded, near the point of death. Our feet reach the summit, and our eyes behold greater things than Moses; our ears hear greater things than the prophets. By faith, we occupy a place at the foot of the cross, and hear the words of God’s Lamb.

Speaking from a cross is exceptionally difficult. Crucifixion was (is) not one event; it was a process, a prolonged and torturous death. One is literally “hung” on the cross by the hands and feet (whether ropes or nails or both). To breathe, much less speak, victims had to push against the nails in the feet and hoist their body weight up in order to draw breath. If a crucifixion victim ever said much to onlookers or soldiers, we can only imagine the kinds of words those might be. But none ever said anything like the seven statements spoken by God’s Lamb.

There are three hours of daylight, three hours of darkness. There are three words spoken in the light, one as darkness fell, three at the hour of death. In the light, Jesus the High Priest intercedes. In the darkness, Jesus the Lamb pays for sin. In the tomb, Jesus awaits in hope. In the resurrection, Jesus is hailed as King and Conqueror, opening the way life forevermore.

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Rick Kelley
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