Tuesday 27th August 2019 Prayer Devotion
Scripture Reading:- Mark 2:2-12
Topic:- The Seven Statements Of Jesus On The Cross 
Text:- Luke 23:34
Christ Jesus died on the Cross to redeem mankind, to save us from our sins because of his love for us. As recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ was mocked, scorned, and tortured in the praetorium. He carried his cross up the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem to Calvary, was nailed to the Cross, and hung between two common criminals. He suffered an indescribable end.
One may meditate on the Passion of Christ by reflecting on his Seven Words on the Cross or by a devotion known as The Way of the Cross.
Here are his Seven Words on the Cross as recorded in Scripture:
1. The First Word: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” See Luke 23:34.
Jesus of Nazareth is looking down from the cross just after he was crucified between two criminals. He sees the soldiers who have mocked, scourged, and tortured him, and who have just nailed him to the cross. He probably remembers those who have sentenced him – Caiaphas and the High Priests of the Sanhedrin.
Pilate realized it was out of envy that they handed him over. But is Jesus not also thinking of his Apostles and companions who have deserted Him. To Peter who has denied him three times, to the fickle crowd who only days before praised him on his entrance to Jerusalem, and then days later demanded his crucifixion? See Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10.
Is he also thinking of us, who daily forget Him in our lives?
Does He react angrily? No! At the height of his physical suffering, his love prevails and He asks His Father to forgive! Could there ever be greater irony? Jesus asks His Father to forgive, but it is by His very Sacrifice on the Cross that mankind is able to be forgiven!
Right up to his final hours on earth, Jesus preaches forgiveness. He teaches forgiveness in the Lord’s prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” When asked by Peter, how many times should we forgive someone, Jesus answers seventy times seven. See Matthew 6:12; 18:21-22.
He forgives the paralytic at Capernaum, the sinful woman who anointed him in the home of Simon the Pharisee, and the adulteress caught in the act and about to be stoned. See Mark 2:2-12; Luke 7:37-48; John 8:1-11.
During the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, Jesus tells them to drink of the cup: “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” See Matthew 26:27-28.
And even following His Resurrection, His first act is to commission his disciples to forgive: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained,” See John 20:22-23.
2. The Second Word: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise,” See Luke 23:43.
Now it is not just the religious leaders or the soldiers that mock Jesus, but even one of the criminals, a downward progression of mockery. But the criminal on the right speaks up for Jesus, explaining the two criminals are receiving their just due, whereas “this man has done nothing wrong.” Then, turning to Jesus, he asks, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.” See Luke 23:42.
What wonderful faith this repentant sinner has in Jesus – far more than the doubting Thomas, one of his own Apostles. Ignoring his own suffering, Jesus responds with mercy in His second word, living out his own Beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
The second word again is about forgiveness, this time directed to a sinner. Just as the first word, this Biblical expression is found only in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus shows his Divinity by opening heaven for a repentant sinner – such generosity to a man that only asked to be remembered!
This expression offers us hope for salvation, for if we turn our hearts and prayers to Him and accept his forgiveness, we will also be with Jesus Christ at the end of our lives.
1. I forgive all those that sin against me henceforth by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
2. Oh Lord God, help me to reign with You in heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ.
3. Oh Lord God, let Your Word dwell in me richly henceforth by fire, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Have A Glorious Tuesday! www.timogundelejesu.com