Every year, most Christian churches in the Philippines hold the “Siete Palabras,” or “Seven Sayings” services, stressing the last seven words of Jesus on the cross. I remember every Good Friday back in the 70s, Fellowship Baptist Church of Bacolod would hold a special Seven Sayings service at 2-4 PM, with a battery of seven speakers. It was the longest preaching service I can remember. With no aircon, the sanctuary was usually
hot and humid. But 300 people would pack the pews every year.
The last words of a dying man are supposed to be the most moving. But we study Jesus’ last words, because they are uttered on the cross. The death of Christ is the heart of the gospel. It is the climax of the gospel story. The last words of Jesus on the cross are thus highly significant.
I wish that we could hold a seven sayings service in our church every year. Unfortunately, there is a conflict of schedule, for we hold DVBS outreach to a hundred kids during Holy Week. It is the best time to do it in government Barangay buildings. So for two Sundays, I will preach on the seven last words of Jesus on the cross—three this Sunday, and the remaining four, next Sunday, to wrap up Holy Week.
Most sermons on the seven sayings are detached from authorial intent. However, we will study the authorial intent of Luke, Matthew, and John, and the context of their words, to grasp what they are telling their readers. . . . more