Faith, Art, writing and learning are Tim’s passions. Tim loves working in education. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.
What you think about the cross of Jesus depends on whether or not you believe Jesus was truly the Son of God. Still, whether in faith, you have paved your life on the words of Jesus or see Him as just an old story the cross holds a lot of intrigue. It is also an integral part of history.
The four Gospels together record the seven last statements of Jesus. The first three statements are directed towards others, namely the crowd, a thief on the cross and his mother and John, the disciple. The next four statements are more of a personal nature. These statements are about his physical needs or directed towards His Heavenly father.
While, at face value, each statement is a statement of fact there are moral lessons in each one for us today. Lessons which can be learned. Here are the seven moral lessons.
The first three statements by Jesus on the cross are centered on the needs of others.
”Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
It is easy to get along with someone who has done something wrong to you. The hard thing to do is forgive someone who has done something wrong to you. Jesus here is calling out to God to forgive all those who put Jesus on the cross. Not just the ones in the crowd but down through the millennia.
All those who have sinned against God. The moral lesson for us is to be like Jesus and learn to forgive. Forgiving someone is hard to do even when it is someone we love. Think about forgiving your enemies. It seems impossible but it is what you must do in order to live. It is what Jesus did.
“Today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
Jesus here is talking to the thief on the cross next to him. It is His response to the thief‘s request to not be forgotten when Jesus entered into His kingdom.
What moral can you glean from His statement. Well there is one big one.The thief on the cross is proof that a heart felt acceptance of Jesus can happen to anyone at anytime. The second moral is more of a life application which may be a stretch but it kind of fits. Do not ever judge anyone for how they look or act because in the end we’re all the same and in need of the same forgiveness..
”Woman, behold, thy son! Son, behold thy mother!”John 19:26-27
Jesus here calls out to Mary first, then to the disciple John. He is saying to Mary here is John love him as a mother would love a son. He is also letting John know Mary is now like a mother to him so he will be responsible to take care of her. I’ve often wondered why he did this when Jesus had brothers who could take care of Mary. I don’t know if I’m right but the only thing I can figure Jesus is calling on John to take care of her spiritual needs.
The moral lesson here is in two parts. The first is family is not always based on blood is can also be based on the love we hold for others. The second part of this is the fact we must all choose to seek and help those who, because of their circumstance, need the most help whether they are related to you or not.
The last four statements by Jesus are directed to his own needs.
”My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34
At this point it appears God must have looked away from Jesus because He now bore the weight of the sin of the whole world on His shoulders. This must have been one of the darkest moments for Jesus. A fate worse than death.
The moral lesson here is two fold. Don’t expect someone to change because you tell them. You must realize you are not meant to bear the sins of those around you. You are meant to pray and give them to God. The second moral lesson is obvious. Sin separates us from God, so while Jesus bore our sins on the cross you still need to go to God daily and confess to Him.
”I Thirst” John 19:28
Jesus called out for something to drink. A little wine vinegar was lifted to Him to drink. At first glance there may not be any deeper meaning than Jesus was thirsty. After all he has endured one of the cruelest tortures known to man but there is a moral to gleaned from the words, “I thirst.”
The moral lesson here is In your walk with God you must stay thirsty for reading His Word and using the truths found there to guide you in life. Psalm 42:2, states it this way, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God.”
”It is finished.” John 19:30
Jesus announces, mostly to himself, but also to all those left at the foot of the cross the work He came to do in this world is done. In His death the world can now live anew. At the time no one really understood what He meant. It was not until three days later the world learned the truth in His words, “Just as Jonah was I the belly of the whale so will I be in the ground for three days.”
The moral here is when people speak, especially those in the Bible, don’t take what they say and dismiss their words.. Instead take the time to look into what they say and search for the truth in their words.
”Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Luke 23:46
Jesus final words on the cross were to His father. He was letting Him know He was trusting Him to take care of His sprit. The moral here is a simple one. If we can trust the simple things in life to happen, like our car will start in the morning, the washing machine to work when we turn it on, or thousands of other things as planned. How much more should trust God the Father or Jesus to take care of us? Think about it.
© 2021 Timothy Whitt