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The Seven Last Words of Christ

By: Campus Ministry Team


We adore you, oh Christ, and we praise you. Because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

As we journey through Holy Week, the final week of Lent, we commemorate the Passion of Jesus Christ. This year, we will be remembering the Seven Last Words of Christ. A practice created by a Jesuit priest in the 17th Century, these are the seven last phrases Jesus uttered as He hung on the cross. Each phrase gives us great meaning as we contemplate Jesus’ passion and death. From Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday, we will pray and reflect on one of Jesus’ Seven Last Words.



“Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” - Luke 23:34

Palm Sunday

“Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” - Luke 23:34


After Jesus was nailed to the cross, the soldiers who led Christ to the cross cast lots for His clothes, an unseemly "bonus" for their work. Even in the midst of His own pain and suffering, Christ offered prayers and forgiveness for His tormentors, aware they were unknowingly fulfilling Scripture. Even in His pain, awaiting His death, Jesus asked his Father to forgive the soldiers.




“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” - Luke 23:43

Holy Monday

“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” - Luke 23:43


Jesus did not die alone at Golgatha. Two criminals were crucified on either side of Christ. One hurled insults at Christ, but the other recognized Him for who He was. "Remember me," he calls out. Christ reassures the believer that he will be with Him in paradise and offers forgiveness and compassion.




“Woman, behold your son… Behold your mother.” - John 19:26-27

Holy Tuesday

“Woman, behold your son… Behold your mother.” - John 19:26-27


Before He left His human life, Christ saw His mother, Mary, at the foot of the cross. He presented John the beloved disciple as her son, and to John, Mary as his mother. By this time, Mary was most likely a widow. His death would have left her vulnerable, emotionally and financially. Christ's last words here are to care for His mother and a reminder to stay connected to those we love.




"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" - Matthew 27:46

Holy Wednesday

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" - Matthew 27:46


The weight of the sin of the world was placed on Christ in a dark moment, He felt completely abandoned by God. Because sin separates us from the holy, the intimate relationship Jesus had with God His entire life was seemingly lost. As we walk through our dark moments, may we know that God our Father walks with us and shoulders our pain with us.




“I thirst.” - John 19:28

Holy Thursday

“I thirst.” - John 19:28


These words of Christ remind us that not only was He fully God, but he was also fully human. Someone soaked a sponge in cheap wine and offered it to Christ on a hyssop stalk. Even though He had been physically suffering, this was the only time He vocalized his pain. His words ground us in His human experience.




“It is finished.” - John 19:30

Good Friday

“It is finished.” - John 19:30


As He moved closer to His final moments on earth, Christ acknowledged that His suffering is nearly over and that His mission was complete. He had completed what he came to do, to lay down his own life, a ransom for the sins of all humanity so that we would no longer be separated from God. His words are one of ultimate surrender.




“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” - Luke 23:46

Holy Saturday

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” - Luke 23:46


At the end of his earthly life, Jesus gave his spirit to God. The curtain in the Temple dividing the holy place and the holy of holies tore in half. That which kept us from God had been destroyed. Christ was freely obedient to God, even till the end.


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