The Significance of Christ’s Sayings on the Cross: A Brief Interview with Dr. Darrell L. Bock

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Christ’s Words on the cross are as important as the event of His Resurrection.

In fact, Dr. Bock said, “Without sacrifice, there is no resurrection.”

Think about it! How can there be the resurrection of Christ, without the sacrifice in the first place?

Before getting to the day we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, it is important to know the significance of His suffering.

While on the cross, Christ said these Seven Sayings:

Forgiveness – “Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided his clothes and cast lots’” (Luke 23:34).

Salvation – “Then he said, “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43).

Affection – “Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home’” (John 19:25-27).

Agony – “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni? that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’” (Matthew 27:46).

Suffering/Thirsty – “After this, when Jesus knew that everything was now finished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, he said, ‘I’m thirsty’” (John 19:28).

Victory/Finished – “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit’” (John 19:30).

Last word/Committing His Spirit – “And Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.’ Saying this, he breathed his last’” (Luke 23:46).

In this post, I have asked Dr. Bock to answer two questions:

  1. What is the significance of Christ’s Seven Words on the Cross?
  2. Why did Christ say, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Dr. Bock briefly explains the significance of these words.

Dr. Darrel L. Bock is the Executive Director of Cultural Engagement and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has earned recognition as a Humboldt Scholar (Tübingen University in Germany), is the author of over 40 books, including well-regarded commentaries on Luke and Acts and studies of the historical Jesus, and work in cultural engagement as host of the seminary's Table Podcasts.