The cross is regarded as Jesus Christ's great work of salvation. But is it also a work of creation? Excitingly plumbing Scripture and Christian tradition, Andrew McGowan shows that it is. "Each of Jesus's seven words from the cross can be understood as a creative act, as a new divine work," he writes. From the cross, Jesus works forgiveness, bestows Paradise, enacts human relationship, identifies completely with humanity, fulfills Scripture, and reenacts Sabbath. From early days, Christians-for good reason-linked the original seven days of creation with creation and re-creation at the apex of salvation. Seven Last Words recovers this linkage in all its power and perennial freshness.
But that is not all. In addition to surveying the seven last words Jesus spoke, McGowan insists that at the cross "the eternal Word not only speaks, but listens." And so he turns to the "conversations" spoken not only from but to the cross. Here he opens new vistas on the words of Judas, Dismas (the criminal crucified beside Jesus), Mary, God the Father, Longinus (the centurion), and Nicodemus, and ruminates fascinatingly on the accompanying silence of the angels.
Profound and endlessly edifying, Seven Last Words will richly repay reading and rereading.