Archive | April 2014

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One of my favourite places in and around Jerusalem is a lovely garden known as ‘The Garden Tomb’ which houses a rock-cut tomb, unearthed in 1867, and which has subsequently been considered by some Christians to be the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus. The Garden Tomb is adjacent to a rocky escarpment […]

IT IS FINISHED! (Jesus’ Seven Sayings from the Cross 7)

The last words, according to John, Jesus said before he died were, ‘It is finished!’ (John 19:30).  Not ‘I am finished’ but, ‘IT is finished!’ This is the great guttural Aramaic shout ‘TELELESTAI!’ No matter how hard we may try, it is impossible to shout loudly, our English translation, ‘It is finished!’  But in the Aramaic […]

INTO YOUR HANDS (Jesus’ Seven Sayings from the Cross 6)

‘Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit’ (Luke 23:46). This penultimate saying – this piece of the mosaic comprised by these Seven Sayings of Jesus from the Cross – starts to paint a different picture from that we have seen thus far. Jesus is in command of himself. He who freely gave himself into […]

FORSAKEN? (Jesus’ Seven Sayings from the Cross 5)

‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!’ (Matthew 27:46). What a cry! And what a staggering sentence … perhaps the most staggering in all the Gospels. ‘Forsaken’ is such a wretched and pitiful word and experience. ‘God forsaken’ is even worse?! Abandoned, rejected, despised, left helpless. This is how Jesus felt in this […]

I THIRST! (Jesus’ Seven Sayings from the Cross 4)

It is interesting that of all the physical sensations Jesus must have been feeling as he hung there on the cross, one would not necessarily have put ‘thirst’ at the top of the list? But when things are reaching their conclusion … this is what he cries. According to the Apostle John (and he should […]

WOMAN, BEHOLD YOUR SON! (Jesus’ Seven Sayings from the Cross 3)

Standing near the cross are the women who were closest to Jesus. Confusedly most of them are called Mary. They are standing by Jesus when all but one of his disciples have fled and abandoned him. His mother is there, of course. Jesus looks up and sees her there … and standing right next to […]

TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE! (Jesus’ Seven Sayings from the Cross 2)

  Jesus was crucified between two criminals. Even while he was dying, one of them – known as ‘the unrepentant thief’ – joined in with the crowd hurling insults at Jesus, scoffing and cursing him. But the other one – known as the penitent thief – was different. What did he see? What did he […]