Although Jesus uttered seven sayings on the cross, John records three. The first one is about transferring the care of Mary. She is His mother, and she is placed in the care of the Apostle John. It is important to understand that the first three sayings of Jesus deal with the needs of others. Most people would have a problem being concerned about others. He did what He could do to alleviate their problems. “The best balm for pain and sorrow is to minister to others.” (Strauss)
“He saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! “John 19:26
The angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce that she would be the one to bear the Messiah. He told her she was “highly favored.” Luke 1:28 This did not exempt her from earthly suffering. The fact is that the more highly favored an individual is in heaven, the more one may suffer on earth because Satan hates those individuals. Jesus is sovereign over Mary. The fact that Jesus calls her “woman” shows her place compared to Christ.
This shows the service in the transfer of care for Mary. It is a good illustration of Christian service. Jesus reveals the selected for service. Christ had four half-brothers and at least two-half-sisters. Note Matthew 13:55-56. Why isn’t Mary placed in their care? The answer comes from the fact that they are not devoted to Christ like the Apostle John is. They believed after the resurrection. Note John 7:5 and Acts 1:14. Jesus selects those who are devoted to Him for service. He knew that John would be devoted to her. He knew John would submit to this commission. What was also taken into account was the sacrifice for service. Caring for Mary would take great sacrifice. This care would include extra expenses and care. You and I must learn to sacrifice in our devotion to Him.
The third, fifth and sixth of the seven sayings of Christ on the cross are recorded by John. “Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst” John 19:28. Christ was also concerned about the fulfillment of Scripture. We must show this same dedication to obedience to the Scriptures. We need to look for a few minutes to the cause for the thirst.
1. Physical suffering. The suffering on the cross would create much thirst. Jesus may not have had a drink of water since He was in the Upper Room.
2. Spiritual suffering. This is the primary meaning of the saying, “I thirst.” Christ was experiencing the suffering for sin as He took the place of the sinner.
In John 19:30, Jesus says words of finality–“It is finished.” Although this saying is very brief, it holds profound meaning. This speaks of Christ’s suffering on earth. It is all over now. Note what Arthur W. Pink says about this. “What tongue or pen can describe the sufferings of the Savior?” This is something that we never are able to fully grasp. This statement speaks of the finished work of Christ concerning the work of salvation on the cross. Salvation requires that there be a blood sacrifice for the sin of the individual. The Old Testament speaks of many sacrifices, but they did not possess the power to remove the sin(s). Note Hebrews 10:11-12, 14. It was the sacrifice of all sacrifices. It fulfilled all the types of offerings and sacrifices of the Old Testament.
It speaks of victory over Satan. His opposition did not make the final sacrifice void. Satan failed to stop Jesus’ perfect sacrifice. Christ conquered victoriously. Jesus had completed His service. His assignment was complete.