Luke 23:34, etc. - The Seven Sayings of Christ from the Cross.

Luke 23:34, etc.: The Seven Sayings of Christ from the Cross.


There are seven sayings of Jesus uttered from the cross. They 
were spoken in the following order:  
1. the word of forgiveness: "Father, forgive them; for they know 
not what they do" (Luke 23:34, KJV)  
2. the word of salvation: "Today shalt thou be with me in 
paradise" (Luke 23:43, KJV) 
3. the word of affection: "Woman, behold thy son"; "Behold thy 
mother" (John 19:26-27, KJV) 
4. the word of anguish: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken 
me?" (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34, KJV) 
5. the word of suffering: "I thirst" (John 19:28, KJV)
6. the word of victory: "It is finished" (John 19:30, KJV)
7. the word of committal: "Father, into thy hands I commend my 
spirit" (Luke 23:46, KJV) [The One Year Bible Companion re Luke 23:34 

The seven utterances of Jesus as He hung upon the cross are 
sometimes called the Seven Words. No gospel writer mentions more than 
three, nor less than one, of these utterances. [SDA Bible Commentary] 

The Gospels report seven utterances by Jesus as He hung on the 
cross. Three of these can be assigned to the first three hours, between 
9 a.m. and 12 noon. Four can be assigned to the next three hours, 
12-3 p.m., during which the scene was shrouded in darkness.  It is 
traditional during Good Friday services to meditate on these seven 
utterances. Surely there is much here for us to ponder. [Victor Bible 
Background Commentary] 

Jesus' first and last words from the cross were a prayer to His 
Father. [Disciple SB] 


Luke 23:34a (KJV) Then said Jesus, FATHER, FORGIVE THEM; FOR 

Heaven viewed with grief and amazement Christ hanging upon the 
cross, blood flowing from His wounded temples, and sweat tinged with 
blood standing upon His brow. From His hands and feet the blood fell, 
drop by drop, upon the rock drilled for the foot of the cross. The 
wounds made by the nails gaped as the weight of His body dragged upon 
His hands. His labored breath grew quick and deep, as His soul 
panted under the burden of the sins of the world. All heaven was filled 
with wonder when the prayer of Christ was offered in the midst of His 
terrible suffering,--"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they 
do." Luke 23:34. Yet there stood men, formed in the image of God, 
joining to crush out the life of His only-begotten Son. What a sight for 
the heavenly universe!  DA760 

Jesus asked God to forgive the people who were putting him to 
death--Jewish leaders, Roman politicians and soldiers, bystanders--and God 
answered that prayer by opening up the way of salvation even to Jesus' 
murderers. The Roman centurion and soldiers who witnessed the crucifixion 
said, "Surely he was the Son of God" (Matthew 27:54). Soon many 
priests were converted to the Christian faith (Acts 6:7). Because we are 
all sinners, we all played a part in putting Jesus to death. The 
gospel--the Good News--is that God is gracious. He will forgive us and give 
us new life through his Son. [Life Application SB] 

"Father, Forgive Them"
   The dialogue that Friday morning was bitter.
   From the onlookers, Come down from the cross if you are 
the Son of God! 
   From the religious leaders, He saved others but he cant 
save himself. 
   From the soldiers, If you are the king of the Jews, save 
   Bitter words. Acidic with sarcasm. Hateful. Irreverent. 
Wasnt it enough that he was being crucified? Wasnt it enough that 
he was being shamed as a criminal? Were the nails insufficient? Was 
the crown of thorns too soft? Had the flogging been too short? 
   For some, apparently so...
   Of all the scenes around the cross, this one angers me the 
most. What kind of people, I ask myself, would mock a dying man? Who 
would be so base as to pour the salt of scorn upon open wounds? How 
low and perverted to sneer at one who is laced with pain 
   The words thrown that day were meant to wound. And there is 
nothing more painful than words meant to hurt 
   If you have suffered or are suffering because of someone 
elses words, youll be glad to know that there is a balm for this 
laceration. Meditate on these words from 1 Peter 2:23 (NIV): 
   When they hurled their insults at him, he did not 
retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted 
himself to him who judges justly. 
   Did you see what Jesus did not do? He did not retaliate. He 
did not bite back. He did not say, Ill get you! Come on 
up here and say that to my face! Just wait until after the 
resurrection, buddy! No, these statements were not found on Christs 
   Did you see what Jesus did do? He entrusted himself to him 
who judges justly. Or said more simply, he left the judging to 
God. He did not take on the task of seeking revenge. He demanded no 
apology. He hired no bounty hunters and sent out no posse. He, to the 
astounding contrary, spoke on their defense. Father, forgive them, for 
they do not know what they are doing.? (Luke 23:34 NIV) 
   they dont know what they are doing.
   And when you think about it, they didnt. They hadnt the 
faintest idea what they were doing. They were a stir-crazy mob, mad at 
something they couldnt see so they took it out on, of all people, God. 
But they didnt know what they were doing. 
   Yes, the dialogue that Friday morning was bitter. The verbal 
stones were meant to sting. How Jesus, with a body wracked with pain, 
eyes blinded by his own blood, and lungs yearning for air, could 
speak on behalf of some heartless thugs is beyond my comprehension. 
Never, never have I seen such love. If ever a person deserved a shot at 
revenge, Jesus did. But he didnt take it. Instead he died for them. 
How could he do it? I dont know. But I do know that all of a 
sudden my wounds seem very painless. My grudges and hard feelings are 
suddenly childish. 
   Sometimes I wonder if we dont see Christs love as much 
in the people he tolerated as in the pain he endured. [Max Lucado 
Daily Devotional at maxlucado.com] 


Luke 23:42, 43 (KJV) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me 
when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, VERILY I 

The conversion of the thief upon the cross, which is an 
illustrious instance of Christ's triumphing over principalities and powers 
even when he seemed to be triumphed over by them. Christ was 
crucified between two thieves, and in them were represented the different 
effects which the cross of Christ would have upon the children of men, 
to whom it would be brought near in the preaching of the gospel. 
They were all malefactors, all guilty before God. Now the cross of 
Christ is to some a savour of life unto life, to others of death unto 
death. (Matthew Henry's Commentary) 

The dying criminal had more faith than the rest of Jesus 
followers put together. Although the disciples continued to love Jesus, 
their hopes for the kingdom were shattered. Most of them had gone into 
hiding. As one of his followers sadly said two days later, We had 
hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel (Luke 
24:21). By contrast, the criminal looked at the man who was dying next 
to him and said, Jesus, remember me when you come into your 
kingdom. By all appearances, the kingdom was finished. How awe-inspiring 
is the faith of this man who alone saw beyond the present shame to 
the coming glory! [Life Application SB] 


John 19:26, 27 (KJV) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and 
the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, 
WOMAN, BEHOLD THY SON!  Then saith he to the disciple, BEHOLD THY 
MOTHER! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 

In this passage there is something which is surely one of the 
loveliest things in all the gospel story. When Jesus saw his mother, he 
could not but think of the days ahead. He could not commit her to the 
care of his brothers, for they did not believe in him yet (Jn 7:5). 
And, after all, John had a double qualification for the service Jesus 
entrusted to him--he was Jesus' cousin, being Salome's son, and he was the 
disciple whom Jesus loved. So Jesus committed Mary to John's care and 
John to Mary's, so that they should comfort each other's loneliness 
when he was gone. [Barclay Commentary] 

Behold, my beloved disciple shall be to you a son, and provide 
for you, and discharge toward you the duties of an affectionate 
child. Mary was poor. It would even seem that now she had no home. 
Jesus, in his dying moments, filled with tender regard for his mother, 
secured for her an adopted son, obtained for her a home, and consoled 
her grief by the prospect of attention from him who was the most 
beloved of all the apostles. What an example of filial attention! What a 
model to all children! And how lovely appears the dying Saviour, thus 
remembering his afflicted mother, and making her welfare one of his last 
cares on the cross, and even when making atonement for the sins of the 
world! (Barnes' Notes) 


Matthew 27:46 (KJV) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a 
loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, MY 

Jesus was not questioning God; he was quoting the first line of 
Psalm 22"a deep expression of the anguish he felt when he took on 
the sins of the world, which caused him to be separated from his 
Father. This was what Jesus dreaded as he prayed to God in the garden to 
take the cup from him (Matthew 26:39). The physical agony was 
horrible, but even worse was the period of spiritual separation from God. 
Jesus suffered this double death so that we would never have to 
experience eternal separation from God. [Life Application SB] 

Did God actually forsake Jesus? (27:46) The divine and human 
natures of Jesus were never separated, even during the crucifixion. Yet 
it is clear, difficult as it is to explain, that Jesus' intimate 
fellowship with God the Father was temporarily broken as he took the sin of 
the entire world on himself. Jesus used the words of Psalm 22, which 
begins with despair but ends with renewed trust in God. By quoting that 
psalm, Jesus may have hinted that he knew the broken relationship with 
his Father would soon be restored. [Quest SB] 


John 19:28 (KJV) After this, Jesus knowing that all things were 
now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I 

The fatigue which he had undergone, the grief he had felt, the 
heat of the day, and the loss of blood, were the natural causes of 
this thirst. This he would have borne without complaint; but he 
wished to give them the fullest proof of his being the Messiah, by 
distinctly marking how everything relative to the Messiah, which had been 
written in the prophets, had its complete fulfilment in him. (Adam 
Clarke Commentary) 

One of the women who lingered at the foot of the cross had once 
known thirst that ordinary water couldn't quench. She had been an 
outcast among her peers, and there was no place in society for someone 
like her. She had a great need, and nothing could fill the emptiness, 
the void within her. Then came the day when she met Jesus. Although 
her accusers had already given up on her and would readily have 
stoned her, Jesus saw her need, and rather than give up on her, he 
faced her accusers and saved not only her life but her soul as well. 
From that moment forward, Mary Magdalene was a devoted disciple of 
Christ, following him even to the foot of a brutal cross. When Jesus 
cried out in thirst, the soldiers mistook it for weakness of the flesh 
and thrust sour wine to his lips. What they didn't comprehend is 
that Jesus' words were a declaration of his completion of his 
Father's work. He was thirsty because he was being poured out as an 
offering, not only for the grateful woman who knelt at his feet but also 
for generations of people to come. [Praying Through The Bible By 


John 19:30 (KJV) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, 
he said, IT IS FINISHED: and he bowed his head, and gave up the 

The sixth word or saying that Jesus spoke from the cross was a 
single Greek work which means It is finished. Papyri receipts for taxes 
have been recovered with this word written across them, meaning 
paid in full. This word on Jesus lips was significant. When He 
said, It is finished (not I am finished), He meant His 
redemptive work was completed. He had been made sin for people (2 Cor. 
5:21) and had suffered the penalty of Gods justice which sin 
deserved. [Bible Knowledge Commentary] 

   With one prophecy after another falling into place, Jesus 
went to the cross and died for the sins of the world. Finally, he 
said, "It is finished." God's plan, which the Bible says was put into 
place before the creation of the world, was finally fulfilled. The 
centerpiece of God's rescue mission was complete.  
   The death of Jesus is the ultimate expression of love, and 
it's available to anyone who will agree to be rescued. To some, the 
thought that a sacrificial death was necessary is offensive; to others, 
it's everything. Paul made this message of the cross the essence of 
his preaching because it's the only means of our salvation. Jesus' 
death removed everything that stood between us and God so we can have 
perfect fellowship with him through faith. [NIV Once A Day Bible] 


Luke 23:46 (KJV) And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he 
thus, he gave up the ghost. 

Jesus died with a prayer on his lips. "Father, into your hands I 
commit my spirit." That is Ps 31:5 with one word added--Father. That 
verse was the prayer every Jewish mother taught her child to say last 
thing at night. Just as we were taught, maybe, to say, "This night I 
lay me down to sleep," so the Jewish mother taught her child to say, 
before the threatening dark came down, "Into thy hands I commit my 
spirit."  Jesus made it even more lovely for he began it with the word 
Father. Even on a cross Jesus died like a child falling asleep in his 
father's arms. [Barclay Commentary] 

The words are from yet another psalm, Ps. 31:5, and were used in 
Israel as an evening prayer. The psalm is a beautiful expression of 
unshakable confidence. It reminds us that, although Christ accepted death 
as the Fathers will, His suffering in no way threatened the 
loving bond of trust that existed between them. [Victor Bible 
Background Commentary re Mar.15:34] 


More Than Wonderful by Sandi Patti & Larnelle Harris: 


The Last Words Of Christ On The Cross From Charles Spurgeon's