I’m fairly certain that just about all of us heard this phrase growing up: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” After hearing this as a child, I remember quickly learning that this little rhyme was absolutely, positively untrue. From the cradle to the cane, deep down, we all come to know that there is power in words.
By words, one phone call can change your life forever. By words, you can either get expressions of affirmation or termination at a place of employment. By words, you can receive news of birth or of death. By words, inventions can come into existence. By words, a soldier can be sent to battle.
By words, you were created.
Imagine with me a beautiful hill in a far away land over looking a city called Jerusalem. Six large pieces of wood…sticks, if you will…are nailed together to form three heinous instruments to implement the death penalty. You know the story: one thief on the left, one thief on the right, one Jewish carpenter in the middle.
Although the sticks did not break His bones, they did break His body. The silhouette formed by the carpenter on the cross reminds us that yes, words can be destructive and even lead to death, but the Carpenter of all creation has the final word. The power from the man upon those sticks rolled the stone away because of the words He uttered with His final breath: “It. Is. Finished.” His Word is greater than sticks, stones, or hurtful words.
There is power in words for good or evil. There is no greater power than the final word. Only one person can have the final word. Have you heard it yet?
Listen. Shhhhhh. Listen. Throw down whatever is breaking your bones and listen.
“Carrying His own cross, He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified Him, and with two others- one on each side and Jesus in the middle.”
“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”
“At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb, in which on one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.”
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered His words.”