Posts tagged with: Seven Last Words

Silhouette of a man at dusk

The Seventh Word:
Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit

Today is Good Friday, a day when Christians around the world remember and reflect on the death of Christ on the cross. The name “Good Friday” is ironic, of course, because in a sense what happened on this day is arguably the worst thing that human beings ever did—torturing and killing the Son of God.

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communion wine

The Sixth Word:
It is Finished

Because Jesus finished his work of salvation, you and I don’t need to add to it. In fact, we can’t. He accomplished what we never could, taking our sin upon himself and giving us his life in return. Jesus finished that for which he had been sent. We are the beneficiaries of his unique effort. Because of what he finished, you and I are never “finished,” to use this word in a different sense. We have hope for this life and for the next. We know that nothing can separate us from God’s love.

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A burnt tree in the middle of the desert

The Fifth Word:
I Am Thirsty

In the account of the crucifixion in the Gospel of John, Jesus said “I am thirsty” (John 19:28). No doubt he experienced extreme thirst while being crucified. He would have lost a substantial quantity of bodily fluid, both blood and sweat, through being crucified and through what he had endured prior to crucifixion. Thus his statement, “I am thirsty” was, on the most obvious level, a report of a physical feeling and a request for something to drink.

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"A person under water holding up a cross"

The Fourth Word:
My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Yet, no matter how many brilliant theologians we read and how much we meditate upon the fourth word of Jesus, we will never fully grasp the truth, horror, and wonder of what Jesus experienced on the cross. As Martin Luther once said, “God forsaking God. Who can understand it?” Yet even our minuscule grasp of this reality calls us to confession, humility, awe, worship, and adoration.

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A woman holding her son

The Third Word:
Woman, Here is Your Son

When we think of the crucifixion of Jesus from the perspective of his mother, our horror increases dramatically. The death of a child is one of the most painful of all parental experiences.

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The sky, the ocean, the shore, and a sunlit horizon

The Second Word:
Today You Will Be With Me in Paradise

As Jesus hung on the cross, he was mocked by the leaders of Jerusalem and the Roman soldiers. One of the two criminals being crucified with him added his own measure of scorn. But the other crucified criminal sensed that Jesus was being treated unjustly. After speaking up for Jesus, he cried out, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42).

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A man standing in the sun with his hands above his head

The First Word:
Father, Forgive Them

It makes perfect sense that the first word of Jesus from the cross is a word of forgiveness. That’s one main reason for his death on the cross, after all. In the phrasing of Ephesians 1:7, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” Jesus is dying so that we might be forgiven for our sins, so that we might be reconciled to God for eternity, and so that we might also be reconciled to each other (see Ephesians 2:11-22).

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