Good Friday is celebrated as a holiday in many parts of the world. The term “good” comes from the now obsolete sense of the word good, “pious” or “holy.” Since the dawn of Christianity, this day has been “set apart” (i.e., made holy) in solemn honor of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. What would Jesus have us remember on this day?
What Did Jesus Say?
I can think of no better way to answer that question than to reflect carefully on Jesus’ own words from the cross. Even in his agony, he leads us deeper into the mind and heart of God.
Jesus hung on the cross for six hours. He said three things in the first three hours. These statements were about his relationship to us.
After three hours, darkness covered the land.
Jesus spent the next three hours in complete silence.
This was the crucifixion within the crucifixion.
The weight of the sins of the world were almost unbearable. Jesus was clinging to the Father with all his might. We know this because the words that break the silence are the words of an intimate song to the heavenly Father (Psalm 22).
The next four things Jesus said were all about his relationship with the Father. He was as close to the Father as he had ever been. Suffering has a way of doing that to us.
The voice of Jesus from the cross …
1.“Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”
We start by forgiving those who have hurt us.
2. “Today, you will be with me in paradise.”
Jesus promises us that, if we trust him, he will lead us into eternal life.
3. “Woman, here is your son. Here is your mother.”
Jesus is always caring for us. Always thinking of us. Always putting us above himself.
4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus lives his life on the promises of God’s Word (He is quoting Psalm 22:1).
5. “I thirst.”
Jesus wasn’t quite finished with his battle against sin. Sometimes you just need to hold on a little longer. The pain is almost over. For now, you just keep breathing and do what you need to do to stay alive.
6. “It is finished.”
Jesus knew that he had won. He beat sin on the cross. Finally, his earthly work was done.
7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Jesus knew that he had come from the Father and that he was returning to the Father. He was crystal clear about his eternal destination.
Jesus died at 3 pm. They rushed to place his body in a borrowed tomb – a cave just outside of Jerusalem. As night approached Jesus was fighting a different kind of battle in another world.
Reflection: Jesus takes his relationship with you very seriously. He sacrificed everything to be in a relationship with you. What are you bringing to the relationship? How much are you investing in the gift Jesus has given you?
READ DAY 1 — TRIUMPHAL ENTRY
READ DAY 2 — CLEARING THE TEMPLE
READ DAY 3 — CONFLICT & CONTROVERSY
READ DAY 4 — SILENCE & SOLITUDE
READ DAY 5 — A MEAL & A PRAYER
READ DAY 7 — THE GRAVE
STAY TUNED FOR DAY 8 — HE’S ALIVE!