Spong explains his approach to his Good Friday meditations given at St. Paul's Episcopal "Church" in Richmond, Virginia.
"..I will seek to invite people into the meaning of the Passion story as it was told by the author of the Fourth Gospel that we call John. Specifically, I will try to move the Christian Church away from that threadbare Good Friday format of the past that focused on what was called 'The Seven Last Words from the Cross'. Those 'Words' were never anything more than an attempt to force the gospels into a blended narrative, which makes a mockery out of current biblical scholarship.
"The overwhelming probability is that the dying Jesus never uttered any one of these 'seven last words". The absolute certainty is that he never uttered all of them. 'The Seven Last Words' thus represent a forced unity that the gospels never had and they are, we now know, quite inauthentic. My hope will be that in future Good Friday services, the Passion story will be developed according to Mark one year, Matthew the next year, Luke the third year, John the fourth year, and then continue the rotation. The authenticity of the individual gospel accounts will thus be restored to Good Friday."