When the four gospel accounts are combined, Jesus speaks seven times from the cross, commonly referred to as the “Seven Last Words” of Christ. During the weeks of Lent we take a careful look at these important sayings of Jesus, spoken in his dying moments. In so many ways, they distill not only his own life, teaching, and purpose, but also our own experience of life before God.
The Word of Forgiveness
Sunday, March 1, 2020
The first of seven last words that Jesus speaks from the cross is, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” These are extraordinary words—not only do they reveal the character of Jesus; they also reveal the very heart of God.
The Word of Salvation
Sunday, March 8, 2020
Jesus hangs on the cross between two criminals. The first criminal mocks Jesus, while the second is assured of salvation. Though they are very different, both men who died beside Jesus have something important to teach us about salvation.
The Word of Community
Sunday, March 15, 2020
From the cross, Jesus looks at his mother and one of his disciples and redefines their relationship to one another. In so doing, Jesus redefines the way all Christians relate to one another, forming a new kind of community—which we call the Church.
The Word of Abandonment
Sunday, March 22, 2020
Jesus cries out in apparent despair from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In this darkest moment of scripture, we find the very heart of the good news of God in Christ.
The Word of Distress
Sunday, March 29, 2020
In the midst of all of the physical suffering that Jesus is enduring on the cross, John reports that Jesus says, “I am thirsty.” These are remarkable words coming from the one who is himself the source of living water, and they tell us a lot about how the salvation of God is at work in the world.
The Last Word
Sunday, April 5, 2020
Jesus begins the week with a triumphal entry into the power center of Jerusalem and he ends it powerless on a cross. These events reveal the very heart of the gospel and how God is at work in our lives in Christ.
The Word After That
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020
Jesus spoke his final words from the cross, but there was still a word after that: God’s bold declaration that death does not have power over life.