Good Friday Reading Recommendations

Good Friday is a crucial day, not only of the year, but also for world history.

Since Jesus’ death, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. On Good Friday, millions of Christians set aside our other concerns to meditate upon what this astonishing claim means.

One way to meditate on the crucifixion is to read and reflect on the seven sayings of Jesus from his cross. These sayings have been used in Good Friday services for centuries.

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
  2. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
  3. “[Jesus] said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’” (John 19:26–27)
  4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34)
  5. “I thirst.” (John 19:28)
  6. “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
  7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46)


There have been numerous books written on the theological analysis and the devotional elements of these seven sayings.


The Seven Last Words from the Cross, by Fleming Rutledge

The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross, by A. W. Pink

Finding Hope in the Last Words of Jesus, by Greg Laurie

Cries from the Cross, by Erwin W. Lutzer

Death on a Friday Afternoon, by Richard John Neuhaus

Cross-Shattered Christ, by Stanley Hauerwas

Thank God It’s Friday, by William H. Willimon