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7 Last Words of Jesus from the Cross

Updated on March 16, 2017
Jesus on the cross
Jesus on the cross

Why I'm making this page: "7 last words* of Jesus from the cross"

With Good Friday fast approaching, I'm making this page about the 7 last words* of Jesus from the cross because, as the last words of a dying person are usually counted as important, the 7 last words (or sayings) of Jesus on the cross-- (and by-the-way the number 7 is the number of perfection or completion)--these last 7 words are all the more important because they reveal much both about the person and character of Jesus, but more importantly about the meaning and purpose of the crucifixion and death of Jesus which we celebrate on Good Friday. So if the death of Jesus is to you just another historical event, if Good Friday is to you just another holiday to take off from work, or if you can't figure out why Good Friday is called Good Friday, I urge you to think upon these 7 last words of Jesus from the cross. You just may get a different picture.

You may first want to check out some of the available material on the trial and crucifixion of Jesus (including the gospel and historical records and some other resources including a great book and video set on the trial and crucifixion of Jesu called "24 Hours that changed the world". And, you can watch here the video, taken from "The Passion of the Christ" and see him actually say these 7 words (or utterances) in Aramaic as he hangs on the cross and suffers in agony.

Following the passion video, in case you didn't catch the 7 words, I have listed the 7 last words of Jesus on the cross along with the scripture references where they may be found. Then, I offer Good Friday prayers which I have written on each of the 7 last words of Jesus Christ from the cross.
I trust that, especially if you think the death of Jesus was just a historical event and Good Friday just another holiday, that you will read these prayers, think about their meaning and then make them your own. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, these prayers on His 7 last words may serve to strengthen and renew your faith, but mainly I trust you will relay them to any non-believers you know.

Following the prayers I wrote, I list another book of meditation on the 7 words and then I quote the 22nd psalm, the first verse of which makes up one of the words, and ai list another resource specifically on this word. By way of conclusion, I offer another resource on hope from the 7 words.

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*(NOTE that in this case the term "words" refers not to single sylable morphemes but to utterances)

"And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head." (Matt.27:29)
"And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head." (Matt.27:29)

The crucifixion according to Matthew:

Matthew 27 (King James Version)

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

36 And sitting down they watched him there;

Read more about the trial, crucifixion and 7 last words of Jesus:

The book & video set listed below is a real gem. Our church group used it for a lenten study last year. In this Special Edition package, drawing on insights from history, archaeology, geography, and the Bible, author Adam Hamilton invites both readers and viewers to experience and understand the significance of Jesus final hours. .... We visited the sites where those earth-shaking events took place, and we walked where Jesus walked along the road that led to the pain and triumph of the cross. Filmed on location, the 25-minute edited tour of the Holy Land video will entertain and inspire the entire family or your church group. I took the course at our church last year and it was a real blessing. I came away with a greater appreciation of what it meant for Jesus to suffer and die for my sins.-- I Highly recommend it for both personal and group use.--JMB

Read and reference the 7 last words of Jesus on the cross :

You won't find all 7 last "words" (or sayings) of Jesus on the cross in one place. They are scattered throufht the gospel records, because each gospel writer views the crucifixion from a different viewpoint. Here are the 7 words with their gospel references:

1. "FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO." (Luke 23:34)

2. "TODAY YOU SHALL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE." (Luke 23:43)

3. "WOMAN BEHOLD YOUR SON....BEHOLD YOUR MOTHER." (John 19:26-27)

4. "MY GOD, MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" (Matt. 27:46; Mk 15:34)

5. "I THIRST" (John 19:28)

6. "IT IS FINISHED." (John 19:30)

7. "FATHER, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMEND MY SPIRIT." (Luke 23:46)

A perhaps more poignant picture of Jesus on the cross via a wood carving. (Note His expression)

"Jesus on the cross" wood carving
"Jesus on the cross" wood carving

Watch and listen to Jesus actually say His 7 last words on the cross - video taken from the movie: "The Passion of the Christ"

You may want to get the complete passion video.

If you can stand the gore, you may want to get the complete passion video. The film focuses on the last 12 hours of Jesus's life, ...beginning with His prayer in the Garden.... Betrayed by Judas, Jesus is arrested and ...accused by the Pharisees of blasphemy. He is tried and condemned to death. He is badly beaten and mistreated by the Roman soldiers and crucified. I personally feel that the beating is dragged out too long and is too gory. But, if you have the stomach for it, it can serve as a reminder of what our salvation cost.

Go deeper into the 7 last words of Jesus on the cross.

What practical effect does each of these words have on each of us? That is great and probing practical question which demands an answer, and I intend to answer it at least somewhat satisfactorily, a little further on, by offering prayers which I wrote based on each of the 7 words. But, first, may I suggest by meditating on these words yourself--mulling them over in your mind, and using your God-given imagination, you might be able to come up with some thoughts on the matter. May I suggest further, before offering my own prayers, that as an aid, you use an extended meditation on the 7 words such as the resource listed below my prayers.

Kneeling at the cross
Kneeling at the cross | Source

Pray these Good Friday Prayers based on the 7 last words of Christ from the cross (applying and appropriating these words) by James M. Becher

1)"Father Forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)

Prayer: Forgive me, dear God for all my sins, known and unknown. Search my heart O' God and see if there is any evil way in me. Show me my hidden faults and cleanse me, as you promised in your word (IJohn1:9), for your son, Jesus' sake. And, dear Jesus, give me your spirit to forgive others who offend or hurt me, because they don't know what they are doing. Amen

2)"Today you shall be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43)

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, as you saved in one instant the dying thief on the cross, help me to realize that the moment I place my trust in you, I have eternal salvation. This I now do. I say with the thief, "Remember me." I say this in faith, knowing that, by your mercy and grace, you will hear my prayer and remember me. I ask you to set up your kingdom in my heart. Make my heart your throne, dear Lord Jesus. In your saving name, amen.

3)"Woman behold your son. ...Behold your mother." (John 19:26-27)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, who in your dying hour showed concern for your mother and your dear disciple, help me that no matter what suffering I am going through in this life, to still be concerned with my relatives and close friends. And thank you that through you we may become part of the family of God. Teach us more of what this means. In your loving name, amen.

4)"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)

Prayer: Father God thank you for your amazing mercy and grace by which you sent your only son, Jesus, to die for me. I realize that it was because of my sins which he was bearing that you were forced to forsake your beloved son in the hour of His death, for you are holy and cannot look upon sin. I accept the fact that He bore all of my sins on the cross and I thank you that on the basis of His death for me you are willing to accept me into your family. I accept your invitation to join your family by accepting your son as my only and sufficient eternal savior. I thank you for your promise never to leave or forsake me. Thank you, dear God, in your son's dear name. Amen.

5)"I thirst" (John 19:28)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, who felt the pangs of physical thirst as you hung on the cross, but bore it to the end because of the greater spiritual thirst which you had for my soul, I thank you. Now my soul thirsts for you and your righteousness. Grant that I may evermore drink of the living water of your Holy Spirit. In your sanctifying name, Amen.

6)"It is finished." (John 19:30)

Prayer: Thank you dear Jesus for your finished work on the cross which bought eternal salvation for me. I realize that I can add nothing to this (nothing of good works, church attendance, baptism or prayers, all of which are important, but none of which can help in any way to earn my eternal salvation.) I need only trust your mercy and grace and accept the gift of eternal life purchased for me at so great a price, and live in thankfulness for this great gift received. Thank you, dear Lord Jesus, in your saving name, Amen.

7)"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." (Luke 23:46)

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, who committed your spirit to your Father in the hour of your death, I now commit my entire being, body, soul and spirit, into your saving hands. Give to me the power of your Holy Spirit that I may love and serve you always, and, through the power of that same Holy Spirit, spread the good news of your saving love to sinners everywhere. Thank you, dear Lord. In your powerful name, Amen.

Meditate deeper on the 7 last words of Jesus on the cross:

These prayers should give you a great starting place for further meditation on the 7 last words of Jesus from the cross. Yet, these 7 words or sayings somehow seem to demand even deeper meditation. In the word listed below, theologian Stanley Hauerwas offers a moving reflection on Jesus's final words from the cross. This small and powerful volume is theologically poignant and steeped in humility. Hauerwas's pithy discussion opens our ears to the language of Scripture while opening our hearts to a truer vision of God. Touching in original and surprising ways on subjects such as praying the Psalms and our need to be remembered by Jesus, Hauerwas emphasizes Christ's humanity as well as the sheer "differentness" of God.

Hauerwas strips down the seven last words of Jesus to their barest essence, refusing to proffer easy explanations. For the third saying ("Woman, behold thy son!"), he...launches into a fascinating argument that Mary is presented as the "new Abraham" throughout the Gospels and Hebrews.

Cross-Shattered Christ offers a transformative reading of Jesus' words that goes directly to the heart of the gospel and our eternal salvation. ...not a collection to be consumed in a single sitting, it would make excellent devotional reading for personal devotion during Lent and throughout the year, using each reflection for a full day's rumination.



Jesus on the cross quoting Psalm 22
Jesus on the cross quoting Psalm 22
ancient manuscript with impression of cross
ancient manuscript with impression of cross

Psalm 22: A prophetic description of the crucifixion:

A thousand years before, this Psalm describes what Jesus was feeling on the cross:

Psalm 22 (King James Version)

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.

10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.

11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Delve deeper into the 4th of the 7 last words of Jesus on the cross (Mark 15:34 & Psalm 22:1) - The cry of Jesus from the cross

The 4th word (or saying) of Jesus from the cross, quoting Psalm 22, deserves deeper consideration. The book listed below presents a multi-level approach to "Mark 15:34" arguing that a contextual reading of "Ps 22:2" does not negate or dilute the presentation of Jesus as one in distress.

Jesus' Cry From the Cross: Towards a First-Century Understanding of the Intertextual Relationship between Psalm 22 and the Narrative of Mark’s Gospel (The Library of New Testament Studies)
Jesus' Cry From the Cross: Towards a First-Century Understanding of the Intertextual Relationship between Psalm 22 and the Narrative of Mark’s Gospel (The Library of New Testament Studies)

Using a multi-level approach to "Mark 15:34", and contrary to the opinion of the majority of Markan scholarship, a contextual reading of "Ps 22:2" does not serve to negate or dilute the presentation of Jesus as one in distress. Rather, such a reading enhances this aspect of his death by underscoring his identity as a Righteous Sufferer who experiences suffering but has the promise of vindication.

 

Conclusion:

It is my sincere desire that you find and spread the wonderful hope that lies in the 7 last words of Jesus on the cross.

Check your understanding: Take my little quiz:


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    • amandascloset0 profile image

      amandascloset0 3 years ago

      What a humbling study you've done. I never though of analyzing the 7 last words. It makes sense as 7 is the number of perfection and last words always hold deeper meaning. Thank you for sharing this!

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 3 years ago

      I knew them very well, but never delved so deep into their meaning. Thank you for your lens; it prompted me to meditate on the passion of Christ.

    • featherbeds profile image

      featherbeds 4 years ago

      Thank you for creating this lens. God Bless!

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 4 years ago from USA

      Very nice presentation of the last 7 words of Jesus Christ.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great lens.

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 4 years ago

      Does anyone have a pair of pliers?

    • nick-2015 profile image

      nick-2015 4 years ago

      God bless you ... Great ens

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      God words inspire love! Thanks for a great lens

    • profile image

      Lightdancer77 5 years ago

      My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me is a quote from Psalms 22

    • profile image

      arshdeep-singh 5 years ago

      nice

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Jesus showed on this day that he is the greatest lover of humanity and did not move an inch from crucifixion.He crucifies for us.For our good.Amen!

    • profile image

      iradezi 5 years ago

      grace

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Great resource! Included you in my featured lens "Free Sermon Outlines!" Thanks and thumbs up!

    • profile image

      oakstreet 5 years ago

      It really reminds me that Jesus has really suffer for me on the cross and thank God for Jesus's work on the cross. a "Like" from me and God bless you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very powerful indeed.

    • senditondown profile image

      Senditondown 5 years ago from US

      Everything. Including this in my Resurrection article.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      That I can have full confidence in the resurrection power of God to redeem and claim my life eternally; that the grave has no victory and death has lost its sting--Jesus paved the way!

    • Dmarieinspires profile image

      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Very powerful! I am delighted to have found your lens. Thanks for sharing this! God Bless

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Jesus' words are always important! From His last words, we can learn so much, including forgiveness and true love.

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens, as always/

    • profile image

      worthim 6 years ago

      Nice Lense! I appreciate your faith and willingness to share!

    • lizziehumphreys1 profile image

      lizziehumphreys1 6 years ago

      nice lens, however some of the images and graphics seem to be making a bit of a mockery.

    • journey103 profile image

      journey103 6 years ago from USA

      Faithfuljim, Thanks for your visit and insight on my Stations of the Cross Lens. In your lens of the 7 Last Words on the Cross, you have given me more to reflect on. I did find writing my len a challenge, but the exercise has brought me further understanding and faith. I will lensroll you as well. God Bless!

    • akumar46 lm profile image

      akumar46 lm 6 years ago

      It is nice to learn seven last words of Christ through your lens.i really appreciate it.

    • akumar46 lm profile image

      akumar46 lm 6 years ago

      May God bless you for such heart touching lens.

    • Earlystart profile image

      Earlystart 6 years ago

      May Peace be with you,

      Great effort in putting this lens together.

      With regards to Jesus' words I have a question for you as a learned man and a believer in God. My question relates to Luke 24: 36-43, what is Jesus telling his desciples?

      Thank you and may God guides us in the right path, Amen.

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Hello, thanks for sharing!

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      I love to go to the 7 cries from the cross services around Easter. Great lens!!

    • VSP profile image

      VSP 7 years ago

      Excellent lens, well said.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lens

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Your lens is being featured on Easter Time Headquarters and would appreciate a lensroll. Thanks!

    • profile image

      jekool 7 years ago

      Thank you for this well written and thought out lens. I really enjoyed it.

    • James43302 profile image

      James43302 7 years ago

      Hi James, very nice lens! Well written, powerful words Jesus spoke on the cross that day over 2000 years ago. I touched on that first phrase myself on one my lenses. I gave your lens a five star rating, a favorite, and lensrolled on eight of my spiritual lenses. I would love to have you as part of my christian ministry. Keep up the good work and God bless! :)

    • profile image

      greaterthings 7 years ago

      It is Finished...my three favorite words in the bible...so powerful and SUCH FREEDOM in those words! Jesus is my hero...thank you for making a lense about Him!

    • profile image

      Light-in-me 8 years ago

      Really great lens !! Very interesting and meaningful !

      Thank you Jesus !!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 8 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Jesus is my King, Lord, Savior, Friend and Hero! Nicely done faithfuljim. 5 Stars, Favored and I joined Your Fan Club too :)

      Shelly

    • cannedguds lm profile image

      cannedguds lm 8 years ago

      thanks for sharing this lens! as a Catholic, I know how meaningful is the Passion and Death of Jesus. His rising from the dead is the key to our FAITH! God bless you and your lens! check out my lens about Good Friday in the Philippines!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done page about Jesus' crucifixion. Welcome to Easter Time Headquarters!

    • profile image

      jipock 8 years ago

      Great Lens! 5*****

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 8 years ago

      Great lens! Welcome to the All Things Christian Group!

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 8 years ago

      Love it, welcomed it to the Everything Biblical and Christian Group.

      Prayers for America

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