When I began to study and meditate on the last sayings of Christ, I discovered that each statement carries with it an important freedom for believers. Jesus spoke seven times when He was on the cross—the number of completion or perfection. In so doing, He secured our complete redemption from every kind of problem we can face.
The powerful anointing released 2,000 years ago through Jesus' last words is available to you—today! Walking in these seven freedoms will transform your life.
Freedom No. 1: Forgiveness
In the midst of His torment on the cross Jesus poured forth an endless supply of forgiveness when He prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34, NKJV). With this statement, He forgave those who had crucified Him, became our example, and pointed toward everyone's need to be forgiven of his sins.
Jesus will pour forgiveness into your life, enabling you to unconditionally forgive every person who has wronged you as well as forgive yourself. God wants to pour the freedom to forgive into your life!
In the Old Testament, God named Himself El Shaddai, God Almighty, the Source of blessings. El Shaddai literally means the "many-breasted one," which signifies nourishment and productiveness.
God doesn't just save you and take you to heaven; He supplies everything you need to successfully live your life. He provides forgiveness, comfort, healing, prosperity, and provision for every need. God is revealed as the One who is more than enough.
Freedom No. 2: Salvation
One of the greatest freedoms we inherited from Calvary, aside from forgiveness, is freedom from sin's torment. Jesus saved a thief next to Him just moments before his death, and He is able and willing to save you--no matter how serious your sins.
The thief said, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom," and Jesus replied, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:42-43). In the face of death and humiliation, Jesus freed us from shame, suffering and death. He fought the principalities and powers of darkness and took the full weight of sin upon Himself so that we could be free of Satan and sin.
Two convicted criminals were equally near to Jesus. Both were wicked, suffering, dying and in desperate need of being set free from their sins. Both were only a few feet from the Savior. Yet one died unrepentant, and the other went to Paradise.
The conversion of the one is remarkable when you think about it. He accepted a suffering, bleeding, crucified man as his God—One who apparently had lost all power to save and by outward appearances couldn't even save Himself.
How was the thief able to do this? Jesus gave the answer when He said to Peter, "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17). The thief separated himself from death by his faith. In the same way you can separate yourself from things that are holding you back—through faith in the crucified and risen Lord.
Freedom No. 3: Affection
After Jesus demonstrated His compassion for the thief, He turned His attention toward His mother. The Bible describes the scene: "When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!' Then He said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother!'" (John 19:26-27).
I marvel that while Jesus was engaged in the most momentous and painful undertaking in the history of mankind—suffering the anguish of crucifixion and taking on Himself the sins of the world—He didn't overlook His responsibilities as an earthly son. Both His humanity and His deity were displayed for the world to see. His words reflect the human love, gratitude and respect He had for His mother.
Jesus gave the example for all human relationships. An important key to our success and freedom is embedded in the way we treat our parents. Ephesians 6:2-3 says, "'Honor your father and mother,' which is the first commandment with a promise: 'that it may go well with you and you may live long on the earth.'"
Once you learn to honor your parents, you can apply that lesson to everyone in your life. You will be set free to become a loving spouse, parent or friend.
Jesus' disciple John is the other key person in Jesus' third utterance on the cross. John's legacy is his faithfulness. Many of Jesus' followers deserted Him, yet John remained faithful to the end. He showed both unconditional and brotherly love.
When Satan is trying to destroy your relationships, remember Jesus carried your offenses so that you could be free to be in fellowship with others. Don't take offense; give it to Jesus!
- Continue reading >>
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our "Life in the Spirit" devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?