5. In his last hours, he was spat upon and scourged (Is 50:6, 53:5/Mt 27:26, 30) and struck on the cheek (Micah 5:1/Mt 27:30).
6. The Messiah was called the sacrificial lamb (Is 53:5/Jn 1:29 who was given for a new covenant (Is 42:6; Jer 31:31-34/Rom 11:27; Gal 3:17, 424; Heb 8:6,8,10;10:16, 29; 12:24; 13:20).
7. He was despised, rejected by men (Is 53:3:1-6), the one who bore “our griefs” (Is 53:4,6);
8. “And with his striped we are healed” (Is 53:5).
The Seven Last Words of Christ
Franz Joseph Haydn (d 1809) worked as the court composer at the Esterházy palace in Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1785, a Spanish priest, Don José Sáenz de Santa María, canon at the Cathedral of Cádiz, commissioned an oratorio from Haydn who wrote seven string quartets entitled “The Seven Last Words of Christ.” The rhythm of each quartet captures the rhythm of the Latin text of the word or sentence Jesus uttered on the cross. It is traditional for the Seven Last Words to be preached and then played in churches on Good Friday before the Liturgy Proper. Years later, when asked how they were performed at the Cathedral of Cádiz, Haydn narrated the following:
“The walls, windows, and pillars of the church were hung with black cloth, and only one large lamp hanging from the center of the roof broke the solemn darkness. At midday, the doors were closed, and the ceremony began. After a short service, the bishop ascended the pulpit, pronounced the first of the seven words (or sentences) and delivered a discourse thereon. When this ended, he left the pulpit and fell to his knees before the altar. The interval was filled with music. The bishop then in like manner pronounced the second word, then the third, and so on, and the orchestra following on the conclusion of each discourse. Each section of music lasted ten minutes.”
The priest paid Haydn by sending him a cake which, the composer discovered, was filled with gold coins. The seven sonatas are preceded and concluded with introduction and Conclusion (“Earthquake” derived from Mt 27:51ff). Below, the first Latin words are given with the English immediately following:
1. Pater, dimitte illis: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).
2. Amen, dico vobis: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23:43).
3. Mulier, ecce filius tuus: “Woman, here is your son; Son, here is your mother” (Jn 19:26-27).
(Column continues below)
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4. Deus meus: “Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani?” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46).
5. Sitio: “I am thirsty” (Jn 19:28).
6. Consummatus est: “It is finished” (Jn 19:30).
7. Pater, in manus tuas: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 22:46).
“Let us meditate on the Gospels
amidst the confusion
of so many human words.
is the only voice
that enlightens and attracts
that consoles and quenches thirst.”