In life and in death, Jesus’ words were powerful and meaningful. Despite the serious effort and increased pain required for Jesus to speak as he hung on the cross, Jesus spoke seven"final words"statements that have much to teach us about Jesus, his Father, and ourselves:
- Father Forgive Them
- Behold Your Son…Behold Your Mother
- My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
- Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise
- I Thirst
- It Is Finished
- Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit
In 24 Hours That Changed the World, Adam Hamilton took us on a Lenten journey through the last day of Jesus' life. Now in this inspiring follow-up book, Hamilton explores these final words as seen and heard through the eyes and ears of those who stood near the cross. Each chapter begins with the biblical account followed by a first-person story as might have been told from the viewpoint of one of the characters at the cross. Then the chapter explores the meaning of Jesus' dying words for our lives today. Following the last statement, a postscript recounts the words Jesus spoke following his resurrection, including what truly were the final words Jesus spoke while walking this earth.
- The Meaning Behind Jesus’ Final Statements
Final Words by Adam Hamilton is an interesting and thought provoking examination of the final words that Jesus Christ uttered on the cross. These seven phrases recorded in the gospels have more meaning that a lot of Christians give to them and it was great to listen to a book that examines these statements to a deeper level.
I have read these statements on the cross from Jesus many times but some of the meanings behind the statements I have never really taken the time to understand and appreciate. The meanings behind some of the lesser known statements was quite interesting and it gave me an even greater revelation of what Jesus did on the cross for us.
The narration was quite good and it didn’t take away from the dialog at all.
This book is a great follow up to 24 Hours That Changed The World and both these books should be used to gain a better understanding of the cultural and spiritual meanings behind the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
- Good, Solid Read (But Not Great)
Final Words is a fairly short book that breaks down the last seven sayings of Jesus into individual chapters that focuses on the meaning and application of each one. It's an easy read and you could feel the author's heart throughout each chapter. Here's the chapter breakdown with the corresponding statements:
1. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing."
2. "Today you will be with me in paradise."
3. "Woman, behold your son; behold your mother!"
4. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
5. "I thirst."
6. "It is finished" and "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
7. Jesus' actual final words (post-resurrection)
Most of the chapters painted the scene from the Gospels from a particular perspective. For example, chapter two was imagined from the perspective of the thief on the cross to whom Jesus spoke His words. I found this to be helpful to consider yet at the same time slightly dangerous as Hamilton was clearly adding personality and interpretation to the text. Read with this caution, Hamilton does a good job of making each scene come alive and brings depth of meaning to each of Jesus' final sayings.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"Never have humans beings every done anything so dark as to condemn, torture, and then crucify the Son of God and yet Jesus prayed for them even as they were in the midst of their sin asking that they might receive mercy. If mercy was available to them, and it was, then I promise you it is available to you" (from Chapter 1).
"Do people who do not know Jesus Christ feel comfortable around you? Do they feel small or valued and accepted after they have had a conversation with you? Are you willing to associate with people others would consider riffraff, and would you show them kindness and compassion because that's what it means to be a follower of Jesus? Do they feel comfortable in your church?" (from Chapter 2).
He completed His task victoriously and submitted His life and will to the Father. As a result, the veil of the temple was torn in two - "from this time on, there no longer would be a need for the curtain. Through Jesus, human beings would come directly to God's mercy seat - to the cross to ask for mercy and to receive God's grace" (from Chapter 6).
Unfortunately, there were a couple of weaker chapters. Chapter 3 represented Jesus' words to his mother and to the Apostle John, but Hamilton's text strayed too far from this to have much impact. Although he addressed the importance and role of women in Jesus' ministry, it felt like a far stretch to connect with Jesus' words. Chapter 7 briefly mentioned Jesus' real final words in His resurrected body, but not enough attention was given to their meaning or application. I give the author a pass on this chapter, though, because technically they weren't Jesus' words before glorification to heaven.
The narration was done very well, read with an appropriate tone for the subject matter, and spoken clearly and understandably. My only frustration was that the narrator read a little too slowly for my tastes, but with my iPhone playing it at 2x it was just fine.
Overall, this was a solid book to read once. However, I don't think there's enough density for it to be one that's essential for your bookshelf or even to be read annually. My favorite Easter season read would easily be "The Cross He Bore" by Frederick Leahy. I read it to my wife this year and found it deeply contemplative and emotionally powerful; this will definitely be our new tradition.
Please Note: I received this audiobook for free as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.
You can read my other book reviews at trutheran.blogspot.com.
- The Deep, Final Words of Christ @christianaudio @RevAdamHamilton
In Final Words from the Cross, Adam Hamilton explores seven of the final phrases Christ spoke on the Cross. Hamilton's book, while concise, still conveys a understanding and respect for the emotional and intellectual depth of Jesus' last words.
Hamilton does not simply tell readers (or in my case, listeners) what to believe or how exactly we must understand and interpret the words. Rather, he provides a realistic, human-yet-divine picture of the impact and meaning behind the words. He clearly understands the scholarship on these biblical passages, but does not drone on in intellectual boredom.
One of the elements I particularly valued was the stories he developed for each phrase. Hamilton wrote first-person narratives from the perspectives of various individuals in the biblical story to flesh out the words of Christ and really bring them to life.
Books like this can be cheesy, superficial, and intellectual without heart, all missing the bigger picture. Yet Hamilton does a phenomenal job of balancing all of these elements, creating a devotional, emotional, and intellectual book that really deepened my faith and appreciation of Jesus' final words on the cross.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café.
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- solid audio for the content
This book is about the last words, and last hours, of Y'shua. It goes from the Last Supper to the resurrection. The last words of Christ can also be considered the last statements, and even that in themselves, the last sermons, of Christ. From the Pesach dinner to the six debilitating hours on the Cross, Hamilton presents fictional tales to account for the impact of Christ's journey into death, and the reaction of those who experienced His final words. These fictional accounts help the reader understand, and in this case, the listener experience, the twenty-four hours covered in this book.
The narration Runnette provides is well-paced and strategic, as he presents an authoritative voice to the executive text. His clear tone and imminent presence, combined with the defained regalia and dictation, make this audiobook prestigious in feeling. The medium deep voice that accompanies the words only helps the listener become engulfed by the tales, and more fully experience the effect Hamilton has intended be bestowed.
This audiobook received four out of five stars, both for narration and content. An excellent choice for devotional content listeners, this listen isn't the first selection for the fiction enthusiast.
This review was commissioned by christianaudio. Read this work and more like it at scriptedgenius.com today.
- Intensely Devotional
This is the first book I’ve read by Adam Hamilton. I attended a conference at his church last year, but I didn’t know much about him. After reading this book, I am grateful for Hamilton’s warm, compassionate, and devotional writing.
Hamilton deals wich each one of Christ’s final sayings from the cross, exploring their meaning and application to life. The book is particularly helpful as a devotional book leading up to Easter.
There were three things about the book that I really appreciated:
1. Absolute clarity. Rather than trying to be cute or clever, Hamilton strives to be clear.
2. Intensely devotional. Lots of application throughout.
3. Bold theology. Hamilton makes no attempt to water down his theology. He’s unafraid of explaining the original languages to gain more clarity on Christ’s final words.
At times, Adam Hamilton discusses the “deeper meaning” of Christ’s words. His overall application is spot on. However, the language of uncovering a “deeper” or “hidden” meaning can be confusing for Christians who think that they must somehow arrive at a mystical deeper meaning when they read the Bible.
Overall, I highly recommend Final Words: From the Cross for anyone who desires a greater understanding of Christ’s final words from the cross, and who cherishes a greater appreciation of His atoning death.
I was struck by how much meaning Adam Hamilton was able to draw from the seven statements of Jesus from the cross. Very rarely did the interpretation seem to be a stretching scripture too far. Really the only occasion I felt he went too far was the chapter on, “I thirst.”
Some highlights: the thoughts on man’s inhumanity to man in the chapter on, “Father, forgive them,” the depth of pain that can be penetrated by God’s love in the chapter on “It is finished/Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Good stuff. Next year, I would like to re-read this book as more of a devotional for the entire season of Lent.
To top it all off, the narration is excellent.
Please Note: This audiobook was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. This has in no way influenced my opinion or review of this work.