Utterances on the Cross
The Seven Utterances of Jesus, while he was dying on the cross, have been a subject of meditation for all Christians. The first three utterances that Jesus made were about others. The last four utterances were about himself.
In this utterance, we see the purpose of Jesus. A terrible cruelty and injustice is being done to him, but he is more concerned for the souls of those doing it than he is for his own body. His suffering and bloodshed were making forgiveness of sins possible for the world. It was to fulfill this compassionate purpose that he submitted himself to the cruel death. As he said on his encounter with Zacchaeus, "the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost" (Lke 19:9-10). That was his purpose.
In this utterance, we see the hope of Jesus. He believed in a better place beyond this world, not only for himself but also for sinners who believed in him and his righteousness. The place that Jesus called “Paradise” may not be heaven itself, but it is certainly a safe place along the way. The sure hope of the righteous Lord, and of those made righteous by him, is that death does not separate the righteous from God (Rom 8:37-39).
In this utterance we see the love of Jesus. In his love for the whole world, he did not forget his special love for his mother and the disciple into whose care he gave her. As John himself tells us, "Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (Jhn 13:1). We can have confidence in his demonstrated love, and say with Paul, "He loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal 2:20).