Today is the day in our church calendar when we remember the crucifixion of our Lord. This is the day that He was killed on a cross so that we might live. I have often thought that the name Good Friday is an odd choice for what happened on this day so many years ago. It was good for us but very bad for Him.
He suffered and was in massive pain, such that I cannot imagine. He was ridiculed and found guilty of crimes He did not commit, and then was punished for them. After last night’s Last Supper with his disciples, he was betrayed and then beaten.
Now, many of us are in major pain and have lots of worries. Like us, he suffered the not knowing, the begging for the bad things to pass by Him, and wondering why it had to happen to Him. In fact, He asked for the cup to pass Him by. However, it did not.
I am not sure if that comforts you, but it does me. To know that the Lord who has helped me through so much, also suffered, lost loved ones, and was betrayed is amazing. He knows how I feel and He knows how you feel. He has been through it all and has promised to be there with us.
As He was dying he uttered seven statements that showed some about the loving man that He was. He still had compassion for those who were persecuting him. He was concerned about His mother and His disciples. He also had to deal with physical pain and suffering.
Our church remembers these in the Good Friday services that we will miss sharing with others this year. Still the meaning is there.
- “My God, My God, why hast though forsaken me?”
- “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
- “I tell you the truth that today you will be with me in paradise.”
- “Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother.”
- “I thirst.”
- “It is finished.”
- “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.”
This man laid down His life for us and then in three days conquered death and the grave. I hope that can be a comfort and a blessing to you and your loved ones. It is to me. Still, there is so much suffering and that is very hard to deal with. We try and we pray and we hope.
This morning we watched an interview of John Meacham by Stephen Colbert. Meacham is an amazing historical writer. He has a new book about Jesus and these last 7 words. It is called “Hope of Glory.” Sounds like one that I want to read.
During this interview, Meacham mentioned that this Easter will be more like it was at the first Easter. He mentioned that the disciples were in hiding and that those of the early church would meet in their homes. So, we can remember how that must have been since most of us will be home to celebrate this Easter morning.
This meant a lot to me. To think back to those times and what Jesus and His disciples and followers must have felt will be good. Ian and I both enjoyed that interview very much.
A prayer for this Good Friday:
“Dear Lord, please watch over your flock who are suffering. May we remember that you are here with us through this hard time. You will not forsake us, although it may feel that way at times.
“May we remember those who are essential employees who are in harm’s way. Please watch over them and keep them and their families safe.
“May we remember those who are at home and trying to adjust to this new way of life. Please help us in the trying days to stay strong and at a distance in order to protect our loved ones.
“May we reach out to those we care about via emails, online chats, and phone calls. May we bear one another’s burdens by being there remotely for each other.
“May we keep those students in mind whose lives have been upended so much. Please help us work together to help them learn and to be safe. To our seniors this year, we feel for you. May you know how special you are and how loved. May we be able to celebrate soon.
“May we remember those who have lost loved ones due to this virus and other causes as well. Lord, please give them comfort in their loss. Please be with them throughout their grief.
“May we remember that Sunday is on the way and that what happened today is not the end of the story. May we remember that Your rising can give us hope. May we also remember to always, always love.
“In Your holy name, Amen”.