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Luke 23, Mark 15 and John 19

The Seven Last Words of Christ

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The Seven Last Words of Christ

Richard Niell Donovan

 

THE FIRST WORD:

“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

 

Commentary on the First Word (Luke 23:34):

Some early manuscripts do not include this prayer, which the NRSV marks with brackets to acknowledge a question of authenticity.  While scholars are divided, many believe the prayer to be authentic, because it fits so well in Luke-Acts.

  • Jesus taught the disciples to love their enemies and to pray for those who abuse them (6:27-28).  Here he practices what he preaches.
  • Jesus’ concern for the ignorance of those responsible for his death is much like his concern for the ignorance of the people of Jerusalem (19:41-44).
  • In Acts 7:59, Luke records Stephen’s prayer, which is modeled on verse 34.

For whom is Jesus praying?  Most likely his prayer includes not only the soldiers who are inflicting his wounds, but also Jewish leaders who instigated the crucifixion, the crowd that demanded it (23:18-25), and the disciples who (except for the women standing at a distance––verse 49) are nowhere to be found––perhaps even for Judas.

Jesus’ prayer does not mean that Israel will not pay a price for their evil deed.  Jesus has already wept over Jerusalem (19:41-44) and has foretold the destruction of the temple (21:5-6) and Jerusalem (21:20-24)––but Jesus’ death is efficacious for Israel just as it is for everyone else.

 

Meditation on the First Word:

Stop and consider how you would respond if someone were torturing you. Some of us would suffer in silence. Others would cry out in pain. A few might shout defiant oaths at the tormentors.

But on the cross, Jesus didn’t do any of those things. Instead, he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

For whom was Jesus praying? Most likely his prayer included not only the soldiers who were inflicting his wounds, but also the Jewish leaders who instigated the crucifixion, the crowd that demanded it (23:18-25), and the disciples who, for the most part, were nowhere to be found.

We shouldn’t be too surprised that Jesus was capable of such a prayer. Earlier he had told his disciples,“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28). Now he is practicing what he preached. We shouldn’t be surprised about that.

Was Jesus’ prayer answered? It was at least in part. A few weeks after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples were gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. Peter preached a great sermon that day. He told the crowd that “God (had) made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Don’t miss those last words—”this Jesus WHOM YOU CRUCIFIED!”

The people, cut to the heart, responded, “What shall we do?” Peter responded, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Three thousand people were baptized that day. There must have been some who had shouted “Crucify him!” only a few weeks earlier. Others had stood by without raising a hand to help Jesus. But Peter said, “Repent, and be baptized…for the forgiveness of sins”—and that’s exactly what happened. Three thousand people were baptized, and God forgave them—just like that!

What about us? What does Jesus’ prayer do FOR us? What does it require FROM us?

Jesus’ prayer does something wonderful FOR us. It assures us that, as terrible as our sins might be, Jesus prays “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” If Jesus could forgive the people who were killing him, how much easier must it be for him to forgive our sins, great or small.

And this prayer requires something great FROM us. It calls us to follow Jesus’ lead. To do that, we need to forgive those who have sinned against us. That will never be easy, but it is the one of the ingredients in Jesus’ recipe for saving the world.

So let’s be thankful that Jesus can forgive us. And let’s follow his lead by forgiving those who have sinned against us.

Consider for a moment who that might be. Who has sinned against you—hurt you—injured you. Who is it that you need to forgive? Bring their face into focus so that you can see them clearly. Then pray, “Lord, help me to forgive.”

Let Jesus suck the poison from your wound and make you whole.

 

THE SECOND WORD:

To one of those being crucified with him Jesus said, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Greek: paradeisos) (Luke 23:43).

 

Commentary on the Second Word (Luke 23:43):

Jesus, as a king, has the power of pardon, and exercises it here.  As so often in Luke’s Gospel, he shows concern for the poor, women, children, the outcast, and the Gentile (4:31-37; 5:12-32; 6:6-11, 20-26; 7:1-17, 36-50; 8:1-3, 26-56, etc.).

This raises several questions:

  • Does Jesus mean that today he is initiating a salvation that will become effective in the general resurrection––or does he mean that the criminal will wake up in Paradise today?
  • By “today” does Jesus mean before sunset (the close of day in Israel)––or within 24 hours––or something broader?  We know that Jesus will spend the next three days in the tomb or in “the lower parts of the earth” (Ephesians 4:9), so it would not seem possible for him to meet the criminal in heaven within the next 24 hours.  We know only that this is a promise of some sort of salvation and that some sort of immediacy is involved.
  • Should we equate Paradise with heaven? Jesus’ contemporaries thought of Paradise (paradeisos) as a well-watered garden like the Garden of Eden.  In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, Paul equates paradeisos with “the third heaven.” It seems likely that the Paradise that Jesus promises the thief is a place where he can await either:

– Jesus’ ascension to the right hand of God (Acts 2:29-36) or

– The general resurrection at the end of time.

 

Meditation on the Second Word:

Jesus wasn’t alone at his crucifixion. He was joined by two thieves.

One of those thieves shouted, “IF you are the Christ, save yourself and us!” (Luke 23:39). IF! That was the word the devil used when he tried to tempt Jesus. IF!

• Jesus was hungry, ravenously hungry, after a long fast in the desert wilderness. The devil said, “IF you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread” (Luke 4:3). IF!

• The devil said, “IF you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from (the pinnacle of the temple)” (Luke 4:9-10). IF!

That was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Now, at the end of Jesus’ ministry, the devil speaks again—this time through the voice of a thief—”IF you are the Christ, save yourself and us!” IF! Prove yourself, Jesus! Do something! Jesus just ignored him.

But there was a second thief, and that thief answered for Jesus. He asked the first thief, “Don’t you even fear God?” He went on to tell the first thief that the two of them were both guilty, and they deserved the punishment that they were receiving. But he said, “This man has done nothing wrong.” Then he turned to Jesus and said, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

Jesus responded by saying, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:39-43).

Some Christians have found that disturbing. After all, this thief had not walked down the aisle to accept Jesus as savior. He hadn’t been baptized. He hadn’t received Holy Communion.

But he did confess his sins. He told the first thief that they were both guilty.

And he asked Jesus to help. He said, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

Jesus responded, “Assuredly I tell you, TODAY you will be with me in Paradise.” Some Christians have worried about that word TODAY. They note that Paul talked about a general resurrection at Jesus’ Second Coming, and wonder how the thief got to heaven that very day. It’s better not to get caught up in that kind of hair-splitting. Let’s just be glad that Jesus saved the second thief—and pray that he will save us too.

Augustine saw that some people were troubled by this story, so he had these words of wisdom. He said:

“There is one case of death bed repentance recorded—
that of the penitent thief, that none should despair;
and only one that none should presume.”

So let none of us despair—and let none of us presume. Let us instead repent and receive forgiveness for our sins.

 

THE THIRD WORD:

“Therefore when Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ From that hour, the disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:26-27).

 

Commentary on the Third Word (John 19:26-27):

We first encountered the unnamed “disciple whom (Jesus) loved” at the Last Supper (13:23).  He will be mentioned again on three occasions (20:2; 21:7; 21:20).  He is widely assumed to be the author of this Gospel.

In the midst of his misery, Jesus has the grace to consider his mother’s welfare.  It is likely that she has been widowed for quite some time, because we have heard nothing about Joseph since Jesus’ visit to the temple as a twelve-year-old boy (Luke 2:42 ff. does not mention Joseph by name, but does mention “his parents”––Luke 2:43). If Mary is a middle-aged widow, she is vulnerable.  As Mary’s son, Jesus has an obligation to provide for her, an obligation that he takes seriously even as he dies.  His intent here is to make “the disciple whom he loved” responsible for his mother’s care.

There are a number of references to Jesus’ brothers in the Gospels (Matthew 12:46-47; 13:55; Mark 3:31-32; Luke 8:19-20; John 2:12; 7:3, 10), so it would seem more appropriate for Jesus to ask them to take care of their mother.  However, at this point they do not believe in Jesus (John 7:5), and they might not be in Jerusalem at this time.  To the best of our knowledge, Jesus’ beloved disciple is the only male disciple or kin who is present at the crucifixion.  The other disciples have “left him, and fled” (Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50).

 

Meditation on the Third Word:

In the midst of his misery, Jesus dispenses grace on those around him. He has asked forgiveness for his tormentors (the first word). He has assured the second thief that he would find himself in Paradise that very day. Now he turns to those who are closest to him—the disciple whom he loved and his mother.

“The disciple whom (Jesus) loved.” That’s strange! Didn’t Jesus love all his disciples? I’m sure he did—but everyone has favorites. Parents try not to play favorites, but the fact is that most parents, even though they love all their children, love one above all the others. That’s the kind of thing that was going on here. Jesus especially loved this particular disciple. We don’t know who he was. The early Christians thought he was John, the son of Zebedee —one of Jesus’ inner circle—but we don’t know for sure.

When we hear Jesus say to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!”—and to the beloved disciple,“Behold, your mother!”—our first thought is that Jesus is using this last opportunity to provide for his mother—and he was. But he was also using this last opportunity to provide for his beloved friend.

This beloved disciple was hurting too—not as much as Jesus’ mother, but hurting terribly nevertheless. By turning to the beloved disciple—by entrusting him with his mother’s care—Jesus was giving the beloved disciple something to live for—giving him trust beyond trust. How could Jesus have shown more faith in his beloved friend? I can’t think of anything. “Behold your mother!” What a gracious gesture! How ennobling! How life-giving! What a blessing!

But the greater blessing was for Mary, Jesus’ mother. Life had never been easy for Mary—not since the day the angel had visited her, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and give birth to a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.'” (Luke 1:30-31).

Favor, indeed! Yes, God loved Mary and honored her by choosing her to be the mother of the Savior. But God never made it easy. Mary became pregnant before she was married. She gave birth while traveling, and had to cradle her baby in a feeding trough. She and her little family had to flee to Egypt to escape the murderous Herod. And so on and so forth! Now, at the final chapter, she has to witness her son executed as a criminal in a particularly horrible manner.

Jesus, of course, knew what Mary had suffered. He loved her and wanted to offer her a blessing—but what could he give her. Stripped even of his clothing, he had nothing to offer—nothing at all—except for one thing. He turned to Mary and said, “Woman, behold your son!”

We think that Joseph had died many years earlier, leaving Mary a widow. After all, we have heard nothing of Joseph since Jesus was a boy. A widow was especially vulnerable in that time and place. There wasn’t much she could do to earn money. She needed protection from those who would prey on her. The fortunate widows were those who had sons who would help. Mary had sons (Matthew 12:46-47; 13:55; Mark 3:31-32; Luke 8:19-20; John 2:12; 7:3, 10), but Jesus saw that she needed something more—someone who was trustworthy to the core—so he said, “Woman, behold your son!”

So Jesus gave a double blessing—one to his beloved disciple and the other to his mother.

 

THE FOURTH WORD:

“‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'” (Matthew 27:46b; see also Mark 15:34).

 

Commentary on the Fourth Word (Matthew 27:46b):

In Matthew’s Gospel, these are the first words that Jesus has spoken since he answered Pilate’s question in Matthew 27:11.  It shakes us to hear such words of despair from Jesus’ lips.  Does he lose faith during this climactic hour of his ministry?

  • First, we must acknowledge Jesus’ humanity.  He came to suffer and die, and he is doing that.  He is experiencing human pain––human despair.  He has taken the sins of the world on his shoulders, and feels the crush of their weight. He feels forsaken––abandoned––no longer in touch with the Father. But still he prays, “My God, my God.” Abandoned though he may feel, he comes to “My God” for solace.
  • Second, we must acknowledge that Psalm 22:1, which Jesus quotes, becomes, in its last half, a celebration of faith––”Yes, from the horns of the wild oxen, you have answered me. I will declare your name to my brothers. In the midst of the assembly, I will praise you” (Psalm 22:21b-22). So Jesus’ cry of abandonment might simply be prelude to a blossoming of faith.

 

Meditation on the Fourth Word:

It shakes us to hear such words of despair from Jesus’ lips. Does he lose faith during this climactic hour of his ministry?

There is indeed a hint of that—a hint of the loss of faith. Jesus, after all, is fully human, and is experiencing human pain—human despair. Not only is he suffering from his wounds, but he has also taken on the sins of the world.

So Jesus cries, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Those words, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” are Aramaic, the common language of Israel in Jesus’ day. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Those words come from the 22nd Psalm. Listen to the first two verses of that psalm. The Psalmist says:

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me,
and from the words of my groaning?
My God, I cry in the daytime, but you don’t answer.”

Is there anyone here who hasn’t felt like that at some point in your life? Haven’t we all felt God-forsaken at some point! Haven’t we all thought, “My God, I cry…, but you don’t answer!”

One of the most beautiful things about the Bible is its honesty. It deals forthrightly with all sorts of slimy things—from Abraham’s taking of a concubine to David’s taking Uriah’s wife as his mistress. The Bible also deals forthrightly with despair—with Godly people who find themselves praying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Those words come from Psalm 22, but they are just the first two verses of that psalm. The Psalmist begins in despair, but then he stops to remind himself of the ground on which he stands. He prays, “But you are holy…. Our fathers trust in you. They trusted, and you delivered them” (Psalm 22:4).

The 22nd Psalm has an allusion to the crucifixion. The Psalmist said, “They divide my garments among them. They cast lots for my clothing” (Psalm 22:18). That sounds familiar, doesn’t it! So also the Roman soldiers divided Jesus’ garments and cast lots for them.

But the Psalmist wouldn’t give up. He prayed, “You who fear (God), praise him! …Stand in awe of him, all you descendants of Israel” (Psalm 22:23).

He also prayed, “For (God) has not despised…the affliction of the afflicted, neither has he hidden his face from him; but when he cried to God, he heard” (Psalm 22:24).

Yes, the Psalmist felt despair, but his faith trumped his despair. So it was with Jesus! He certainly felt despair, but he wouldn’t allow his despair to be his final word.

 

THE FIFTH WORD:

“That the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty'” (John 19:28).

 

Commentary on the Fifth Word (John 19:28):

As noted above, this Gospel is concerned about the fulfillment of scripture, and more so as the story unfolds.  The scripture in question here is most likely Psalm 69:21, which says:  “They gave me gall for my food.  In my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.”

This is not to suggest that Jesus is not truly thirsty.  It has been many hours since his arrest.  He has been flogged and beaten, and has walked to the crucifixion site.  Withholding water is a part of the crucifixion process.  It is not difficult to imagine how terrible his thirst would be.  But he surely understands that, when saying that he is thirsty, his words fulfill scripture.

 

Meditation on the Fifth Word:

Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” Of course he was thirsty. Thirst was part of the genius of crucifixion. The Romans tormented their prisoners, in part, by denying them water. Then they forced the prisoners to carry their heavy crosses quite a distance. Then they hung the prisoners on their crosses to suffer through hot days and cold nights—with no clothing, food, or water. Roman soldiers stood guard to insure that family members couldn’t come forward to help the prisoners.

Also, they had flogged Jesus, laying open the flesh of his back. And they had thrust a spear through his side. Jesus had sustained a great deal of blood loss. Of course he was thirsty.

But we need to hear Jesus’ cry, “I am thirsty,” on a different level, because he was quoting from Psalm 69. In that psalm, the Psalmist said, “My throat is dry. My eyes fail, looking for my God” (Psalm 69:3).

The Psalmist also said, “They also gave me gall for my food. In my thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink” (Psalm 69:21-22).

But that wasn’t the end of that psalm. The Psalmist, who had, indeed, despaired, went on to say, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving…. For (God) hears the needy, and doesn’t despise his…people” (69:30, 33).

So we need to hear Jesus’ cry, “I am thirsty,” in part, as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. And we need not to hear it as words of despair.

When Jesus says, “I am thirsty,” it reminds me of what he said about thirst at the very beginning of his ministry. In his Sermon on the Mount, he had said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

The words “hunger and thirst” mean less to affluent First World Christians today than to the people of Jesus’ time. When we are hungry, we eat. When we are thirsty, we drink.

It was different in Jesus’ day—and it is different in many parts of the world even today. People WERE often hungry—ARE often hungry—sometimes starving. Hunger and thirst are compelling! A hungry person can think of little but food! A thirsty person can think of little but water! To hunger and thirst is to be totally focused.

But Jesus said that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled—FILLED! They will not find life still empty! They will not be at loose ends! They will not ache for more! “They shall be FILLED!” What a promise!

 

THE SIXTH WORD:

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, ‘It is finished'” (tetelestai— from teleo) (John 19:30a).

 

Commentary on the Sixth Word (John 19:30a):

Teleo (finished) has shades of meaning, but the most likely meaning for this last word from the cross is that Jesus has accomplished the mission for which he has come to earth.

What a blessing it must have been to know that the Father had assigned Jesus a magnificent work––and that Jesus had fulfilled the Father’s call perfectly.

In one sense, the soldiers, priests, scribes, and Pharisees killed Jesus. In that sense, Jesus was “handed over” or “delivered up to” those who would kill him (Mark 3:19; 9:31; 14:21, 41).

But in a higher sense, Jesus died in accord with the Father’s plan for his life.  He was in control of his life and death.  He was not a victim of treachery, but was instead a willing sacrifice to give life to others.

 

Meditation on the Sixth Word:

“It is finished!” The Greek word that is translated “finished” was teleo. That isn’t a despairing word. Jesus isn’t saying, “It’s over and done with. I have failed.” To the contrary, he is saying, “My work is complete. I have finished what I came to do. I have lived the life to which I was called, and I have set the stage for the salvation of the world.” That’s what Jesus meant when he said, “It is finished.”

What a blessing it must have been to know that the Father had assigned him a magnificent work—and that he had fulfilled the Father’s hopes perfectly. Jesus could die in peace, knowing that he was in full compliance with the Father’s will—and that he had done the work that he had come to do.

I hope that each of us will be able to die with those words on our lips—“It is finished!”—meaning, “My work is complete. I finished what I came to do. I lived my life in accord with the Father’s will.”

We will all die, of course. We don’t like to think of it. We make jokes about it. We say, “Only two things are certain: Death and taxes.” But when death is imminent, we don’t joke about it. People talk about death as the grim reaper—but death need not be grim. It won’t be grim if we can die knowing that we have finished the work that God called us to do—that we have lived our lives in accord with the Father’s will.

None of us will do that perfectly, of course. In fact, most of us will ask, “How can I ever hope to end my life on such a positive note?” We have sinned. We have fallen short of the glory to which God has called us.

But God has forgiven us. God has brought our lives back into focus. God has helped us to put the pieces back into place. With God’s help, we will be able to say with Jesus, “It is finished. It is complete. I have fulfilled my purpose.”

 

THE SEVENTH WORD:

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46—quoting from Psalm 31:5).

 

Commentary on the Seventh Word (Luke 23:46):

Jesus’ final words in this Gospel are very different from those in Matthew and Mark where Jesus asks why God has forsaken him (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).

Luke reports that Jesus’ last words on the cross were––“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  That verse goes on to say,Having said this, he breathed his last.”  In the Bible, that isn’t the usual way to say that someone died.  In fact, none of the Gospel writers say that Jesus died.  Instead, Luke describes Jesus as entrusting himself to the Father’s care.  Jesus’ mood is not despair, but confidence––confidence that the Father who sent him into the world with a mission is now prepared to receive him back again.

I have participated in team-building exercises where participants were encouraged to fall backwards, trusting that other members of the team would catch them.  I didn’t enjoy that exercise.  It required more trust than I really felt.

But when Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” I like to think of him as falling back willingly into the Father’s arms––having no misgivings about the Father’s love or ability to protect him.  In these words, Jesus demonstrates faith to the fullest.

 

Meditation on the Seventh Word:

When Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” he is quoting from Psalm 31:5.

Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke then tells us, “Having said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46).

Jesus breathed his last breath. Let’s correct that. Jesus breathed his last breath for this particular day—this Good Friday—this Bad Friday—this Hang-God-Out-to-Die-Friday.

But, as we know, it won’t be Jesus’ last breath. On the other side of Easter morn, he will breathe again. In the Gospel of John, we have another story about Jesus breathing—this time on the far side of Easter. On that occasion, the disciples were gathered behind locked doors “for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be to you.” Then “he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit!” (John 20:19-23).

Just as God breathed into Adam the breath of life (Genesis 2:7) Jesus breathed into his disciples the Spirit of life. This gift of the Spirit renewed the life of these disciples just as Godly breath gave new life to dry bones (Ezekiel 37:9). The disciples had been afraid and confused—hidden in a locked room to escape danger. But after Jesus breathes on them, they find strength to stand up, unlock the door, go outside, and begin their proclamation.

But I am getting ahead of the story. That’s the story for Sunday. Today is Friday. Jesus has just said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” and breathed his last breath. It’s a dark day—the darkest day that anyone had ever seen, and the darkest day that anyone will ever see.

But Jesus’ last words were a spear of light that shattered the darkness. He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Those aren’t the words of a man who had suffered ultimate defeat. They were the words of a man who was going home—who was putting his spirit in his beloved Father’s hands—who was getting ready to rejoin the Father in the heavenly realm where he had dwelled with the Father from before the beginning of time (John 1).

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When our time to die comes, I hope that we will remember these words. I hope that we, like Jesus, will be able to let go of this life with the calm assurance that we are going to join the Father and the Son in the heavenly realm.

 

But we don’t have to wait until our dying day to say those words:

• Let us pray those words whenever we are troubled—whenever worry threatens to consume us. Let us pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

• Let us pray them whenever we are faced with problems that defy solution. When caught between a rock and a hard place, let us pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

• Let us pray them whenever doubt casts a shadow across our faith—whenever we are tempted to wonder whether God exists—whenever we doubt that God loves us. Let us pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

• Let us pray those words today—as we are gathered here to see Christ on the cross—when we find ourselves outraged that anyone would treat Jesus in such a way—when we ask, “Why did he have to die?” Let us pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Because, when we place ourselves in God’s hands, he will hold us—comfort us—strengthen us—lift us up. He will give us life.

The meaning of Good Friday is that, with God’s help, it isn’t over until it’s over. Where there is a cross, we can anticipate that there will also be an open tomb. Where there is darkness, we can anticipate that God will bring us light.

But once again, that’s getting ahead of the story. Let me close by saying, “To be continued.” Come back in a couple of days and we’ll celebrate the rest of the story. Amen!

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

There are a number of books available on the Seven Last Words.  Of the following, the ones I like best are those by Mattison and Willimon, so I’ll list them first:

  • Mattison, Judith, The Seven Last Words of Christ
  • Willimon, William, Thank God It’s Friday

But you might prefer one of the following:

  • Cleveland, Rich, The Seven Last Words of Christ
  • Crosby, Michael H., The Seven Last Words
  • Rutledge, Fleming, The Seven Last Words from the Cross
  • Sheen, Fulton, The Seven Last Words
  • Ward, Neville, Friday Afternoon

There are many others as well.  Check Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, and your local Bible bookstore.
 
Copyright 2015, Richard Niell Donovan