I recently discovered something astonishing about the last seven statements Jesus made before he died, which gives me a new perspective on this coming Good Friday. They are intrinsically linked to one another because all of them relate to the practice of hospitality. For someone facing imminent death it might seem like a strange choice of theme, but it is exactly what makes this particular death so significant.
In Jesus’s first statement from the Cross, “Father, forgive”, he uses some of his last breaths to plead for God’s grace to be shown to all who have conspired to kill him: strangers and enemies, Jews and Romans, soldiers hammering nails through his wrists and onlookers mocking and insulting him. Jesus asks his Father to welcome in hospitality even those who are murdering him.
Read the rest of this article on The Times website here.