Pastors portray Christ’s last words

By Janet Bresenham, Freedom New Mexico

Area pastors will join together tonight to take listeners on a spiritual journey from the first statement Jesus Christ made on the cross to the last statement before he died.

Along the way, they hope to bring renewed meaning to the message of what Jesus did on the cross and the power of the Easter Resurrection.
“Jesus’ last words on the cross were ‘It is finished.’ I will not be portraying Jesus as a victim. In his life, he deliberately moved toward the cross. He never forgot why he came,” said the Rev. Margot Thompson of Trinity United Methodist Church.

“I think of how freely God’s grace is given and yet, it was so costly because of Jesus’ death on the cross,” said Thompson, who will be speaking from John 19:30. “This man who lived a perfect life became sin for us, and in so doing, we can turn to the cross. It is a mighty work, the greatest work ever done in the world.”

Today’s special Good Friday community-wide service at 5:30 p.m. in Clovis annually brings together many different denominations at a different church every year.

The main focus: Seven pastors speaking for five minutes apiece about Jesus’ seven last statements on the cross.

The Rev. Jim Kelly from Church of the Brethren has the daunting task of opening with the first statement of Jesus on the cross, from Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:54.

“That is when Jesus cries out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’,” Kelly explained. “What it means to me personally is that because Jesus cried out, I am assured that my loud cries are heard by God. I think his cry calls us to be more aware of our need for what Jesus did on the cross.”

In Jesus’ reassuring words to the thief on a nearby cross, from Luke 23:43, Central Baptist Church Pastor Alan McAlister sees great hope for everyone.

“I think it really bears out the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9, which tells us that salvation