The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross
Who of us can possibly imagine the excruciating pain of being crucified? But further, who would imagine that in the midst of this ghastly punishment that brings on unrelenting headaches and mental disorientation, a crucified man would actually give thought to the needs of others? This book explores in detail the nature of crucifixion and then invites the reader to listen in stunned silence to the amazing seven sayings of Jesus of Nazareth while hanging on the cross, as he focuses his attention on others in the first three sayings, and only then on his own distressing situation. His last four sayings give expression to his utter spiritual and physical anguish and conclude with a cry of victory and then a cry in which he commits himself to God. ""Like the sledgehammer used to nail Jesus' hands to that crossbeam, this book packs a wallop. Harris' reverent but rigorous scholarship casts fresh light on some of history's weightiest words. Neither shying away from the gruesome nor losing sight of the glorious, this book succeeds wonderfully. It magnifies Jesus' unparalleled character and achievement by paying painstaking attention to known historical circumstances and Jesus' startling, unforgettable utterances."" --Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary ""Countless devotional works abound on the Passion of the Christ and his seven last words on the cross. Detailed scholarly assessments of this material also appear frequently. But Murray Harris has created something new: a succinct, readable explanation of the meaning of each saying in its historical and grammatical contexts, fully abreast of contemporary scholarship and deeply inspirational as one ponders the awfulness and the love behind Jesus' suffering on the cross. A real gift to the church and all interested readers."" --Craig L. Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary ""It is refreshing to have these powerful words from the cross handled by a seasoned exegete who carefully places them in their Gospel and historical contexts, and offers us a treasure-trove of deeper insights. While its harmonizing approach will not suit all, Harris has produced a very accessible and devotionally rich study without loss of scholarly accuracy."" --John Nolland, Professor, Trinity College, Bristol; author, NIGTC commentary on Matthew (Eerdmans, 2005) Murray J. Harris is Professor Emeritus of New Testament Exegesis and Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. Formerly he was Warden of Tyndale House, a biblical research library in Cambridge, UK, and faculty member of the Divinity School in the University of Cambridge. He has written commentaries on the Greek text of Colossians and Philemon, Second Corinthians, and John's Gospel. He was one of the translators of the New International Version (NIV). He resides in his native New Zealand in retirement.