Beginning the Journey (for new Christians)
1, 2, and 3 John
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 & 2 Timothy
2 Peter, Jude
7 Last Words of Christ
Christ Powered Life (Rom 5-8)
David, Life of
Jesus and the Kingdom
Lamb of God
Names of God
Sermon on the Mount
The Seven Last Words of Christ from the Cross
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
A Free Devotional E-Mail Bible Study
James J. Tissot, detail from "Jesus Alone on the Cross" (1886-1894), watercolor, Brooklyn Museum, New York. Full image.
By all accounts Jesus didn't do a lot of talking on the cross. It was as if he were alone in his pain -- silent for the many hours he hung there, except for a very few words. But these 7 Last Words of Christ from the Cross provide a window into Jesus' soul, a way to understand through his own last words what is ultimately important to this One who is dying on the cross.
Prepare Your Heart for Holy Week and Good Friday
These seven words are taken from different gospels, but assembled into what was probably their chronological order according to a simple harmony of the various gospel accounts of the crucifixion:
- "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
- "This day you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43)
- "Woman, behold your son." (John 19:26-27)
- "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46)
- "I thirst." (John 19:28)
- "It is finished." (John 19:30)
- "Into your hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46)
E-Mail Bible Study Meditation
Available as an e-book or paperback if you need all the lessons immediately.
This Bible study is designed to help you meditate on each of these seven words, one per day, for a single week. Contained in each day's study will be a question that can help you think more deeply about the meaning of the saying. If you like, you can post your answers or thoughts in our online Forum or read others' thoughts about the saying.
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The Seven Last Words are often given in Latin, since they have long been used as a meditation on Good Friday in Roman Catholic congregations:
- Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid faciunt
- Hodie mecum eris in Paradio
- Mulier, ecce filius tuus
- Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me
- Consummatum est
- In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum
They are also the basis of a classical orchestral composition by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), "The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross" (German: "Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze") commissioned in 1787 for the Good Friday service at the Grotto Santa Cueva near Cadiz, Spain.
Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastorjoyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.
In-depth Bible study books
You can purchase one of Dr. Wilson's complete Bible studies in PDF, Kindle, or paperback format.
- 1, 2, and 3 John
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter & Jude
- 1 & 2 Thessalonians
- 1 & 2 Timothy
- 1 Corinthians
- 2 Corinthians
- Abraham, Faith of
- Christ Powered Life (Romans 5-8)
- Christmas Incarnation
- Colossians and Philemon
- Great Prayers of the Bible
- Jacob, Life of
- Jesus and the Kingdom of God
- JesusWalk: Beginning the Journey
- John's Gospel
- Lamb of God
- Lord's Supper
- Luke's Gospel
- Moses the Reluctant Leader
- Names and Titles of God
- Resurrection and Easter Faith
- Sermon on the Mount
- Seven Last Words of Christ