Saturday, April 19, 2014

The 7 Sayings on the Cross and New Testament Law of Love

In His 7 Sayings on the Cross, the Lord also established the New Testament ethics or Law of Love for Christian life.

We understand that the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament had the following structure:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your strength... (The first 4 commands)
2. Honor your parents (5th Command)
3. Love your neighbor as yourself (Last 5 commands)

Jesus went a step further when He taught:
"You have heard that it was said,`You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Mat 5:43-45 NKJ)

Now, in His Sayings from the Cross, Jesus establishes the 3 commands of the Old Testament (whose real intent He had earlier uncovered in His Sermon on the Mount), and establishes also the New Testament Gospel of Peace and Reconciliation that is explicit in the doctrine of forgiveness and love for the enemies.

Interestingly, while the OT Commandment began with Love for God, Christ's example begins with the enemies, then progresses to the neighbor, then to His earthly mother, and then to God to whom He surrenders His spirit. Certainly, how can one love the invisible God if he is unable to love his visible brother? (1 John 4:20)

Notice the progression below:
  1. Luke 23:34: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. [LOVE YOUR ENEMIES]

  2. Luke 23:43: Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise. [LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR]

  3. John 19:26–27: Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother. [HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER]

  4. Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34 My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? [LOVE YOUR GOD] - (Can't live without Him!)

  5. John 19:28: I thirst. [LOVE YOUR GOD] - (Meat is to do will of Father. He only became aware of His thirst after He knew everything was done)

  6. John 19:29-30: It is finished. [LOVE YOUR GOD] - (Completion of Assignment)

  7. Luke 23:46: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. [LOVE YOUR GOD] - (Final Destiny)

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