This year for Lent, we have been journeying through the Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. Today’s post is one that gives a brief overview of each word that we have heard, listened to and a very brief perspective of how we took it with us into the Lenten Season. Below I share with you the date in which we heard the word
As we continue our series of Lent, listening and hearing the Seven Last Words of Christ. During this Lenten Season, we are listening to the voice of Jesus as he speaks. Yes, it is true that these are spoken on Good Friday, not Lent, but what often happens is that we get to Palm Sunday, and jump right ahead to Easter Sunday and we miss the days in between in which these words are quickly glossed over and we never really hear them. Good Friday – God Friday – Holy Friday – a Friday set apart in which as gruesome as it was, it was a beautiful display of God’s love.
Now that we have seemed to slow down a bit, we can pause and really hear the words and voice of Jesus, the story of tragedy and glory. Crucifixion was a public performance to produce a public shaming, it is in this story and unfolding of events, that we find Jesus associated with criminals. Here’ are the seven words:
Ash Wednesday: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing. Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. and the idea that these were Jesus’ first words cried out on the cross, they could have been anything, and requesting something for him, but he did two things … first directed people to God the Father as he cried out, and secondly… continued his life and ministry he lived into each and every day of his life, as he extended love and grace. He extended grace to the people present on the ground in that moment, and extended grace to us today … father forgive them for being silent. Father forgive them for their actions, words or silence in which they didn’t realize that they caused harm in someone’s life… forgive them, they don’t get it, they don’t realize the pain they are inflicting…allow them to receive with open hands and hearts the love and grace we can give.
March 1: Today you will be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43 Jesus continues his rhythm in dying in speaking to the other, the criminal, the least of these, the one that everyone seems to no longer care about to say … today and always I will be with you, and it will be ok. No matter who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, because of your confession, because you have acknowledged me, today … not tomorrow, not later, right now, you are remembered, and you belong.
March 8: Woman behold your son. John 19:26-27 where Jesus connected the beloved disciple and his mother to care for one another and now Mary and the disciple, whom we call John, are now connected and expected to be in community and to care for one another … connected because of their love for Jesus. Because of our love of Jesus Christ, we are connected to one another, and are called to care for one another.
March 15 My God, My God why have you forsaken me. Matthew 27:46
Here’s a couple take away’s from this prayer….
As Jesus in his crying out, feels alone, but continues to have faith and trust God to show up … even when things are darkest for Jesus, he still prays and cries out to God. seeking and searching for God.
We can identify with Jesus in this moment, because we might feel lost and alone, but we can cry out and pray to God. God is present and will continue to show up and work and bring things into light.
Jesus is praying the pray of the psalmist in Psalm 22, possibly drawing on the strength and memory he learned growing up. Today, we can’t read Psalm 22 without reading and remembering the words of Psalm 23, in which we often turn to when we are walking through dark times, right? ‘even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil … for you o God are with me.
What a comfort it to hear this a reminder that God doesn’t abandon, but continues to work and be present. And that We can in the darkest moments of our lives, when we are feeling isolated and alone, identify with Jesus… because if Jesus who is fully God and fully human is crying out, it must be ok for me!
March 22 I Thirst. John 19:28-30. The liturgy page and audio of the sermon is on our media page, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click to listen. As Jesus is dying, as his physical self is weakened, he cries out declaring his thirst. Can Jesus, the son of God really get thirsty? And what was he thirsty for? Jesus on the cross, dying, isn’t crying out for his own physical need, but rather for his longing, his thirst, his desire for the people to desire God. Jesus is proclaiming that he, in these moments declaring a thirst and desire to be in relationship with us. the people. That Jesus is desiring us to be thirsty for God.
March 29: It is Finished. John 19:28-30. Join us on Sunday to hear more about this word! The link for our Zoom Worship Gathering and the pdf of the Liturgy page are on our Media Page. After Sunday, I’ll share a brief recap here also.
Palm Sunday, April 5: Into your hands I commend my spirit. Luke 23:46