The seven last words of Jesus Christ is far beyond utters of pain, of sufferings, of agony. It is an expression of love - love as symbolized by the Cross.
First Word of Love:
"I forgive you"
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” (Luke 23:34)
Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the cross is all about forgiveness. His love is unconditional and His mercy is for everyone. Even if I sometimes choose not to acknowledge the wrong things I have done, Christ is ready to forgive me. He is saying, "I love you inspite of the many times you've hurt me and I forgive you."
Many times, I find it difficult to forgive someone who have caused me a lot of pain... most especially if this person is someone I love dearly and close to my heart. But Christ's love is beyond any pain. He reminds me that only true forgiveness can set me free from it.
Second Word of Love:
"I promise you a lifetime of happiness."
“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
One of the most famous lines in a wedding ceremony is "'til death do us part." For the love between a husband and a wife should bear the same commitment as Christ's love for His church. But as in any earthly love, it has an end. Christ's love is beyond death. His love promises a lifetime of happiness and togetherness.
Whenever I find myself feeling unloved, abandoned, betrayed, I wish to remember that Christ's love is for keeps. People can fail me, I may expect a lot from others to keep their promises. But Christ promises to love me eternally and He never breaks His promise.
Third Word of Love:
"You willl never be alone."
"Woman, behold your son... Son, behold your mother." (John 19:26)
As a mother, It is quite unimaginable for me to think of losing my precious child. But Mary, the Mother of Christ, had to bear with the pain of witnessing her son's suffering and death. But Jesus, understanding the sorrow of His mother, made sure that she will never have to go through this alone.
This is for me the most touching scene ever in the history of our salvation. The love between a mother for His son and a son for His mother. It never fails to bring me to tears.
Jesus here is reminding me that whatever I may be going through, He is ready to comfort me. Jesus is affirming me that, "you are not alone and you never will.". I trust fully well that no sorrow and pain will ever be too much for me for Jesus will take care of me as He did His very own mother.
Fourth Word of Love:
"Call on God your Father in times of doubt and fear."
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mark 15:34)
It's probably quite difficult to understand what Jesus could be feeling at that very point in time he uttered these words. But He wanted me to feel even closer to Him ... In His most "human" moment, He wants to assure me that He feels what I feel and knows what I am going through. Jesus wants me to have faith in God my Father to be there.
All it takes is a humble heart to call on God. Once I have acknowledged that God is the only one who can satisfy my desires... the only one who can take away my doubts and fears... the only one I will ever need... then I have enough reason to believe that He will never abandon me in times I needed Him the most.
Fifth Word of Love:
"I long for your love"
"I thirst" (John 19:28)
Jesus longs for my love... Perhaps towards the final moments of His sufferings, all He wanted was for me to also affirm Him of my love. He never asked for anything in return when He committed to suffer and die for my sins... but to love Him back will be worth all the pain.
Have you ever loved someone who didn't love you back? I know I have been in this situation many times in the past. The emotional pain of unreciprocated love is greater than any physical pain. Jesus deserves my love. After all that He has done for me, it's the least I can do for Him.
"I love you, Jesus."
Sixth Word of Love:
"Finally, my mission for you is complete."
"It is finished." (John 19:30)
The movie, The Passion of Christ by Mel Gibson, is the closest I have seen as to how Christ truly suffered. In fact, after I have seen it the first time I couldn't get myself to watch it again. It was too much for me. I remember moments when I get hurt... or when I go through rough times, I often ask God when this will all end.
But whenever I would think of the actual physical and emotional pain that Christ indeed went through, I could honestly understand his relief when he said these words, "it is finished". Any person who have suffered enough will wish for it to end.
But these words meant something deeper for Christ. It simply meant, "mission accomplished!" ... "you are saved" ... "your sins have been redeemed"...
These are clearly words of love for me... Christ is assuring me that through every trying times, He will be there until the end. He will see me through.
Seventh Word of Love:
"Put your life in God's hands."
"Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46)
Through the example of Jesus, a life for God doesn't guarantee a life free from problems and sufferings. Despite being a missionary and serving God for most of my life, I have been through many challenges. But these difficulties allow me the opportunity to live my life to the fullest. Inspite of all the hurts and pains, I need to entrust my life in the hands of God.
He knows what's best for me and He knows fully well the desires of my heart. His plan is perfect even if I may not understand His ways. For with God, everything happens for a reason. A life surrendered to God is a life worth living.
Jesus, thank you for your words of love. Thank you for reminding me that love is greater than any pain. Thank you for assuring me once again that your death gave me life so that I can fully exprience God's unconditional love.