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Richly rewarding listening, all of it, and a classy 50th-birthday tribute to MacMillan.

The Seven Last Sayings of Jesus from the Cross

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information. Skip to main content. Composer or Director:. James MacMillan. Magazine Review Date:. Media Format:. Catalogue Number:. James MacMillan Composer. Christus vincit. Nemo te condemnavit. Listen on Apple Music. The presence of Mary at the cross adds both humanity and horror to the scene. We are reminded that Jesus was a real human being, a man who had once been a boy who had once been carried in the womb of his mother.

When we think of the crucifixion of Jesus from the perspective of his mother, our horror increases dramatically. The death of a child is one of the most painful of all parental experiences. This scene helps us not to glorify or spiritualize the crucifixion of Jesus. He was a real man, true flesh and blood, a son of a mother, dying with unbearable agony. His suffering was altogether real, and he took it on for you and for me.

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Why do you think was it necessary for Jesus to suffer physical pain as he died? Lord Jesus, the presence of your mother at the cross engages my heart. You are no longer only the Savior dying for the sins of the world. You are also a fully human man, a son with a mother. O Lord, how can I begin to thank you for what you suffered?

My words fall short.

Seven Last Sayings of Jesus Christ and What They Mean for Us

My thoughts seem superficial and vague. Nevertheless, I offer my sincere gratitude for your suffering. Thank you for bearing my sin on the cross. I give you my praise, my love, my heart. All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, fully God and fully human, Savior of the world. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. In the words of the psalmist Jesus found a way to express the cry of his heart: Why had God abandoned him?

Why did his Father turn his back on Jesus in his moment of greatest agony? This side of heaven, we will never fully know what Jesus was experiencing in this moment. Or was his cry not so much a question as an expression of profound agony? Or was it both? What we do know is that Jesus entered into the Hell of separation from God. The Father abandoned him because Jesus took upon himself the penalty for our sins. In that excruciating moment, he experienced something far more horrible than physical pain.

MacMillan Seven Last Words From The Cross |

The beloved Son of God knew what it was like to be rejected by the Father. I can write these words. I can say, truly, that the Father abandoned the Son for our sake, for the salvation of the world. But can I really grasp the mystery and the majesty of this truth? Who can understand it? Have you taken time to consider that Jesus was abandoned by the Father so that you might not be?

How can I ever thank you for what you suffered for me? What can I do but to offer myself to you in gratitude and praise? Thank you, dear Lord, for what you suffered. Thank you for taking my place.

Soundstreams Presents: Seven Last Words from the Cross by James MacMillan

Thank you for being forsaken by the Father so that I might never be. When I survey the wondrous cross, On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God; All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood. Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.

No doubt Jesus experienced extreme thirst while being crucified. He would have lost a substantial quantity of bodily fluid, both blood and sweat, through what he had endured even prior to crucifixion. Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair.


If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst. As he suffered, Jesus embodied the pain of the people of Israel, that which had been captured in the Psalms. Jesus was suffering for the sin of Israel, even as he was taking upon himself the sin of the world. Rather, I am thirsty for him. My soul yearns for the living water that Jesus supplies John ; I rejoice in the fact that he suffered physical thirst on the cross — and so much more — so that my thirst for the water of life might be quenched.

What does this statement suggest to you about Jesus? About yourself? O Lord, once again I thank you for what you suffered on the cross.

Besides extraordinary pain, you also experienced extreme thirst. All of this was part and parcel of your taking on our humanity so that you might take away our sin. I too am thirsty, Lord, not for physical drink.