Hello, BRN Family! It’s good to be with you today.

No doubt, the pandemic has unleashed a tumultuous time within our churches. The church has scattered, and many are experiencing difficulty in regathering and reconnecting. Dark spiritual forces are doing whatever they can to ensure division and separation.

But on this very special Holy Week, I wanted to remind you that Jesus has the last word—in your ministry and in your lives. Consider the seven “last words” or sayings Jesus spoke while being crucified.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” — Luke 23:34 ESV

At the height of His vantage point on the cross, Jesus saw those who persecuted, abused, scorned and misunderstood Him (from all ages past and future). Even more, He could see the unknown happenings in their hearts. He asked God to do a work in their lives – to forgive them and release the burden from all the evil surrounding them. Knowing forgiveness is counter-cultural, who can you forgive today and allow God to move in their hearts?

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” — Luke 23:43 CSB

Jesus also was able to see the future that awaited those who believed, including the thief on the cross who acknowledged Him as the Son of God. Though times may be particularly trying for you right now, trust that Jesus is preparing a place for you and all that you experience is temporary. Grip onto the eternal resurrection hope!

“Woman, here is your son.” John 19:26 CSB

Jesus also sees the needs in our families. He has a plan for each person, just as He has a plan for you specifically. Rest in knowing that He who began a good work in YOU can also do the same in your family. He is faithful!

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned Me?” — Mark 15:34 CSB

Jesus also sees the loneliness and despair many leaders face. You feel alone. You feel forgotten. You feel abandoned. Jesus understands. Having nailed all your sins to the cross, He stands ready to minister to you and to deepen your faith experience in Him. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

“I’m thirsty.” — John 19:28 CSB

Jesus also sees how empty you feel. Ministry too often feels like being poured out–too much work for seemingly too little results. But He promises, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied! Allow Him to fill you, and out of that overflow, to do mighty things in you and your ministry!

“It is finished.” — John 19:30 CSB

Jesus saw His completed work. The debt of sin was paid. The prophecies were fulfilled. The season of suffering was over. This was the shout of a conqueror who overcame all that was thrown at Him. Dear pastor, please know Jesus in you is able to help you overcome, too. Hold tight to the one who is the Author and Finisher of your faith!

“Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” — Luke 23:46 CSB

Jesus saw the One He obeyed. We are not of this world. We don’t entrust our lives and spirits to the world. No, we entrust them to our Creator, the maker of Heaven and Earth. Lean into Him today and trust Him. He will never fail you!

It is my prayer you will feel encouraged by each one of these last sayings. May you bask in His love this Resurrection Sunday and beyond. God bless you!