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The Seven Last Words from the Cross [Paperback]

By Fleming Rutledge (Author)
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Item description for The Seven Last Words from the Cross by Fleming Rutledge...

Heralded by congregations and peers alike as one of today's most compelling and powerful Christian voices, Rutledge is also a bestselling author whose previous collections of sermons have touched readers deeply. This new volume contains short, readable reflections on the seven last words from the cross.

Publishers Description
For at least a century, at special three-hour services on Good Friday, it has been the custom in many churches to reflect on the Seven Last Words of Jesus from the Cross. In this tradition, Fleming Rutledge here presents seven eloquent meditations on these final sayings of Jesus.Rutledge links the sayings from the cross with contemporary events and concerns, but also incorporates recent biblical scholarship and modern questions about the death of Christ, particularly in light of Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ." Rutledge shows how each word or saying from the Cross affords an opportunity for readers to gain a deeper understanding of the horrific death suffered by Jesus.Intending for this book to lead readers into a genuine devotional experience, Rutledge has made every effort to evoke and preserve the contemplative atmosphere of the three-hour Good Friday memorial. The book includes frequent references to hymns associated with this special day, and each meditation ends with an appropriate hymn text for personal prayer and reflection.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Seven Last Words from the Cross by Fleming Rutledge has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christianity Today - 02/01/2005 page 89
  • Library Journal - 03/01/2005 page 94
  • Foreword - 03/01/2005 page 1

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   81
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.64" Width: 5.34" Height: 0.29"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2004
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802827861  
ISBN13  9780802827869  

Availability  0 units.

More About Fleming Rutledge

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Fleming Rutledge is an Episcopal priest widely recognized in North America and the UK as a preacher, lecturer, and teacher of other preachers. Her published sermon collections, most recently And God Spoke to Abraham: Preaching from the Old Testament, have received acclaim across denominational lines. Among her other books are The Bible and The New York Times, Not Ashamed of the Gospel: Sermons from Paul's Letter to the Romans, and The Battle for Middle-earth: Tolkien's Divine Design in The Lord of the Rings.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Devotionals
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Devotionals

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > Biblical History & Culture

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Seven Last Words from the Cross?

Reflect on the Words Jesus Spoke from the Cross...  Jun 16, 2005
One of the great traditions of the Christian Church is to take time, during Holy Week, to reflect upon the words that Jesus spoke from the Cross. Sometimes, this happens in a three hour service on Good Friday, in which the combination of the crucifixion accounts in the four Gospels are read and interpreted in turn. Out of this tradition, Fleming Rutledge has created a series of mediations that are helpful for personal reading, reflection and devotional use at any time of the year.

The author, the Rev. Dr. Fleming Rutledge, is a widely acclaimed preacher, who for many years served as the preaching pastor of Grace Episcopal Church in New York City. She now devotes her vocational life to a nationwide ministry of preaching, writing and teaching.

A friend in ministry recommended her writings to me, and having begun reading them, I must say that I am hooked and think you will be as well. In this slim volume, she expounds upon each of the seven words, to help the reader reflect upon what Jesus said as He died upon the cross, from "Father, forgive them" to "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit". Even the most familiar of these passages receives fresh treatment under Rutledge's scrutiny. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Rutledge seeks to acquaint the reader with the deep pain and humiliation of crucifixion, making the contrast of Jesus' words of hope, inspiration and promise from the cross all the more gripping.

As those who have read Dr. Rutledge's other collections of sermons know, she is a gifted wordsmith, but her engaging words are surpassed by her rock-solid theology. Dr. Rutledge might be called a traditionalist; her Christology is high and Presbyterians will find much in it to help elevate their own views of who Jesus is and what His saving work means for us. Rutledge does not hesitate to show us the gritty reality of the cross, nor does she eschew disclosing the coarse realities of our own time. For instance, "Sin is not a misdeed here and a misdeed there, but an autonomous, enslaving Power. The Apostle Paul is very clear about this: `All human beings,' he writes, `both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin.' (Rom. 3:9). In our own time, however, we have done our best to get rid of this idea." (page 42). Contrasted with these are the forceful messages and powerful accomplishments of Christ that make salvation possible for us: "On the Cross, Jesus voluntarily and willingly bowed His head to the power of sin..." (page 44).

This book is small but mighty. Each of the meditations conclude with a hymn, some familiar and some new, to assist the reader's reflection upon each of the scripture passages. Not only a prized work in itself, this volume could serve as an introduction to all of Rutledge's books, perhaps the best known of which is The Bible and The New York Times.
Holy words...  Mar 25, 2005
The Seven Last Words from the Cross come from the various pieces in the gospel stories of the crucifixion. They are, according to the King James Version, as follows:

'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' (Luke 23:34)

'Verily I say unto thee, today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.' (Luke 23: 43)

'Woman, behold thy son! ... Behold thy mother!' (John 19:27)

'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (found in Mark 15: 34 and Matthew 27:46, also in Psalm 22:1)

'I thirst.' (John 19:28)

'It is finished.' (John 19:30)

'Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.' (Luke 23:46, also Psalm 31)

Fleming Rutledge, a priest in the Episcopal church, has developed this small book based on meditations on these seven words from Jesus. These are statements that have been used as inspiration for meditation and works of art in the many centuries since the time of the crucifixion, and remain inspiring texts to this day. Rutledge developed these as meditations for the Three Hours of Good Friday, and delivered them in churches in Columbus, Georgia in 2002 and Boston, Massachusetts in 2003.

Such services on Good Friday usually involve hymns; Rutledge has incorporated stanzas from various hymns to give the reader a fuller sense of the services. However, these reflections stand alone very well.

Rutledge is skillful at incorporating the modern with the ancient, the timely with the timeless. Through it all, she relates the crucifixion with honesty and detail to the our lives. Her method is fairly inductive; however, it tends to start and end with the words of Jesus. Rutledge makes the claim that we are in the grip of something we cannot fully comprehend, but that the prayers of Jesus, even as he was undergoing humiliation and degradation on the cross, reach something deep inside of us even to this day, and pierce through the darkness in ways that no other event could do.

Rutledge relates the aspects of the individual gospels as well as the collective memories - for example, all four gospellers recall that Jesus was crucified among thieves, common criminals; on the other hand, not all gospellers record the same words, so the fullness of the seven words comes from taking all the stories together, even in the paradox of our sometimes difficult task in reconciling the events as recorded.

Perhaps the most beautiful aspects of Rutledge's work are when she gives her personal memories, or personal stories shared by others. She recalls in the text that she had a particular theology professor who tragically lost his only son, his only child, at a relatively young age; the professor put to words his grief and task in life in terms of these statements of Jesus - we live our lives, he said, between 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me,' and 'Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.'

On this Good Friday, may your spirit be blessed. Rutledge's book is a blessing during the passion, during Eastertide, and at any point in the year.


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