Wednesday, January 14, 2009

THE SEVEN WORDS FROM THE CROSS

THE SEVEN WORDS FROM THE CROSS

                        Jesus Christ, the Living and Immortal God, by His life and death, gave life to us, the mortal men. The last seven sayings of the Saviour are recorded in the Gospels. The pulpit of His last words was the Holy Cross. The power of this eternal sermon could awaken even the dead from their graves. These seven words summarize the mystery of His life, mission and vision. The audience of this great sermon represented different sections of humanity - saints, sinners, soldiers, priests and Pharisees. The words may be arranged in the following order:

1. "Forgive them, Father! They don't know what they are doing" {Luke 23:34}.
The first word of Christ on the Cross was His prayer addressed to His Father imploring pardon for His enemies. He was pleading for the forgiveness of sinners in general.

2. "I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me" {Luke 23: 43}.
His second word was an answer to the prayer of a penitent sinner, a pardon granted generously.

3. "He is your son." "She is your mother" {John 19:26, 27}.
These were addressed to His loving Mother, St. Mary and dear disciple, St. John. Thus He assigned to His Mother, a spiritual motherhood of humanity.

4. "My God, My God, why did you abandon me?"{Matthew 27:46, Mark 15: 34}. This was uttered when a mysterious darkness covered the earth. It symbolizes the agony of those who are apparently abandoned by God. Here He acts as a mediator for sinners.

5. "I am thirsty" {John 19:28}. This displays the sufferings of God abandoned by man and is addressed to men. He thirsts for loving souls.

6. "It is finished" {John 19: 30}.The sixth word declares the completion of His worldly mission. It is a farewell to the world.

7. "Father! In your hands I place my spirit!" {Luke 23:46}. The last word symbolizes His entrance into Heaven and is addressed to His Heavenly Father to whom He returns after the successful completion of His sacred sacrifice.

                        Before Christ, the cross was a sign of sin and shame. His sacred sacrifice made the Cross the sacrament of salvation and the symbol of victory over sin and death. It is a sign of success and source of strength to us to lead a life of sacrifice, service and suffering. The Passion of Christ preaches the painful path to paradise.

By: N.G.Philip, Bethel, Nalamchira, Thiruvananthapuram-695015, Kerala, India &
Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.
This is Message No. 61 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of this page to read previous posts and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of this page to read newer posts in this site.

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