Summary: These are some thoughts and instructions on how to have a special Easter Candle lighting Service in your Church based on the Seven Last Sayings of Christ from the Cross.
Thoughts from our
“Seven Last Sayings of Christ”
Candle Lighting Service
A note to those who were not able to attend the service: We have a special cross that has been made and mounted with seven candle holders. We begin the darkened service by lighting each one of the seven candles on the cross. This illustrates the scene of Christmas for us when the light of the world entered into our darkened world. As we go thru each one of the seven sayings of Christ, we extinguish one candle at a time to indicate the life’s blood flowing from Christ as he hung on the Cross. Devotional thoughts are given for each saying, and a special song is sung to add to the atmosphere of the thought. When the last candle is blown out, I ask those who are in the service to meditate on how the disciples must have felt as they stood in hiding in the darkness without their shepherd for the next three days and nights. The service is concluded by having someone with a lit candle reenter into the blackness of the auditorium and relighting the cross with their candle. All of the people have been given a candle prior to the beginning of the service. It is now time to portray the Day of Pentecost. We begin lighting one another’s candle. An appropriate song is sung by all to commemorate the joyous Easter occasion felt by all!
Introduction: The Cross of Calvary is the most fruitful tree that ever was! All nine fruits of the Spirit were demonstrated by Christ as he hung there on the Tree. As we look upon the Cross, we will not only meditate on seven sayings spoken by Christ, but we will also ponder on the fruits of the Spirit revealed to us as he hung on the tree.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” Luke 23:34
Meditation: Here we see Jesus in his role as the intercessor of all humanity. His very purpose of coming to this earth was to redeem mankind from the curse of the law. Man’s greatest need was “forgiveness of sin.”
Jesus had told his disciples to love those that would persecute you… to turn the other cheek… to pray for those who despitefully use you. Here we see Christ exemplifying his teachings on the Mount.
The Bible says that “God is Love.” When the nails pieced the hands of Christ, love poured forth.
Christ said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” All sin is done in ignorance. Mankind is blinded by the lies of the god of this world. Only God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were fully aware of what was taking place on the cross. All others that stood in the midst, stood alongside in ignorance.
The fruit of the Spirit demonstrated in these words: Love.
“Woman, behold thy son… behold thy mother”
John 19: 26, 27
Meditation: Note that the first of the sayings of Christ from the Cross all were directed at “others.” Before Christ considered his own suffering, he looked upon the sufferings of others. In this text, he directed his compassion towards his Mother.
Jesus was now the “Son of God.” His purpose was to “take away the sins of the world.” Therefore, when Christ spoke to his mother, he did not refer to her as “Mother,” rather, “Woman.” Christ was positioned as the Son of God to be her Savior.
Our faith in Christ makes us one family. Although Mary was not the Mother of John the beloved, and John was not the earthly son of Mary, our faith in Christ unites us into one family.
Just a few days earlier, John had aspired to be at the right hand of Christ when he would be coming into his kingdom. Before that event could ever unfold, he was called upon to be at the right hand of the mother of Christ. We are reminded by Christ, that “whatsoever you to do for the least of the brethren, ye have done it as unto me.”
Christ was a loyal loving Son. Mary had already witnessed the death of her husband, now it would be the death of her eldest son. Christ would make provision for her. The Church needs to step forward and help those who are within its membership and need special attention and love. God has called upon all of us to become a family, to provide for one another.
The fruits of the Spirit demonstrated to us by Christ in this saying: Gentleness, and Goodness.
“Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise” Luke 23:43