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A passion for hospitality A meditation on jesus’ last words from the cross

At the heart of the atonement is divine hospitality, where God invites the undeserving and unexpected to come home with him.

The final words of Jesus on the cross, as recorded in the Gospels, provide us with an entry point to understand the essence of the Christian faith. Each of the sayings crucially invites us to share in God’s revolutionary hospitality, not only being welcomed as the strangers and enemies we once were but also welcoming other strangers and enemies in his name and for his sake.

‘FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.’

Luke 23:34

Jesus’ words are a prayer not for himself but for others. Jesus’ merciful words are a preemptive act of grace ahead of the obscene act that is to come.

‘I AM THIRSTY’

John 19:28-29

The man who taught his disciples to quench the thirst of strangers as evidence of their love for God now becomes that thirsty stranger. How ironic that the one who once provided wine at a wedding is now left with nothing to drink.

‘TRULY I TELL YOU, TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.’

Luke 23:43

Amidst the extreme pain he was suffering Jesus offers words of comfort and a VIP invitation to a self-confessed criminal.

‘HERE IS YOUR SON.... HERE IS YOUR MOTHER’

John 19.26

In this simple act, we see Jesus promoting hospitality by practically enabling people to be reconciled to God and to one another.

‘MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?’

Matthew 27:46

Somehow, Jesus had to be forsaken by his Father, so that we could be forgiven. He was rejected so that we could be accepted. He was excluded from the mercy of God so that we could be included.
What would you do if you thought someone on your morning commute was being trafficked into slavery?

‘FATHER, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT’

Luke 23:46

Despite all appearances, God is his safe place, his panic room, his fortress. Jesus now asks for the same hospitality from God— for sanctuary from the turmoil that he is in.

Dr Krish Kandiah is the founding director of Home for Good. A charity finding loving homes for children in the care system.Read more about radical hospitality in Krish’s book ‘God is Stranger’ published in the UK by Hodder and in the USA by IVP.

Watch an interview on radical hospitality between noted author and thought leader Andy Crouch and Krish.

Find our more about radical hospitality to vulnerable children through fostering and adoption by contacting Home for Good.

Created By
krish kandiah
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Credits:

Created with images by jplenio - "light chapel church" • Robert Nyman - "Christ the Redeemer" • geralt - "cross sunset sunrise" • PublicDomainPictures - "rain background drop" • Samuel Zeller - "Red carpet on stairs at the MAH museum Geneva" • Emiliano Bar - "untitled image" • Clement Chai - "Boy in his own world" • James L.W - "Light in the Dark" • geralt - "boat water refugee"

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