bold faith / Holy Week / Paul Baxley

Words in the Dark: The Seven Last Words of Christ – Holy Monday

“This day, you are with me in paradise”

Jesus’ second words, spoken to a thief on another cross, are spoken across a terrible boundary of physical separation and social distance. Jesus and this thief cannot touch each other. We cannot even be certain that by position they can see each other. But the thief reaches out to Jesus, and Jesus responds, “Today you are with me.” With me across painful, horrible separation; with me not only in this life, but in the life of the world to come. Jesus’ words forge a bond that overpowers distance

On Good Friday, this happens more than once. The Gospels tell us that standing far off from Jesus are several women. They cannot reach and touch him, but they will not leave. In the darkness of mid-day, their visibility is reduced. But there is a bond between them, a connection that overpowers separation.

This is a powerful truth to discover in the midst of this Holy Week. We are all separated by new boundaries—created not this time by evil, but instead to offer healing and protection. But they still feel isolating. We are separated from people we love and from practices that give us life. But in Christ Jesus there is a bond more powerful than social distance.

Watch the second installment of a special 7-part Holy Week video series with CBF Executive Coordinator Paul Baxley titled “Words in the Dark: The Seven Last Words of Christ.”

Learn more and view the entire “Words in the Dark” video series throughout Holy Week 2020 at

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