I am reading a wonderful book by Richard Neuhaus: Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross.
Here they are:
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise."
"Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother."
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
"It is finished."
"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."
Last year, on Good Friday, during the veneration of the Cross, we sang the sentence that one of the thieves says to Jesus as he is dying on the cross: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. It is a haunting melody. Listen to it here. I am like that thief. I never want to be separated from Jesus. The second Word is Jesus reassuring him (and me and all of us).
Last week I attended Palm Sunday services in Texas with my sister. What joy! It's been years and years since we've prayed and sung together and I'd forgotten how beautifully our voices blend. The fourth Word: My God, my God ... is actually the beginning of Psalm 22. I was struck listening to the verses how prophetic it was. And now, here we are ... Good Friday.
Paraphrasing Neuhaus: Do not rush to Easter. Stay awhile at the foot of the cross. Let your heart be broken.