‘Father, on this most holy day, may I be filled with gratitude for the sacrifice of your Son. Amen.’
READ: Luke 23:26–46
Holy Week is a time for quiet reflection. But there was no quiet reflection on the first Good Friday. Luke paints a vivid picture: Simon carrying the cross, a group of wailing women, sneering leaders, mocking soldiers, two criminals in agonising pain, and the watching crowds. It was all so noisy, so violent, so public.
Prayer and promise
And Jesus lifted up. ‘… they crucified him there’ (v 33). Four simple words that mark the pivot of human history. And from the parched lips of Jesus, two ‘words’. The first a prayer, the second a promise. Jesus prays that those who are rejecting him may be forgiven. This Good Friday, come again to the cross and know that you are forgiven, whatever you may have done, or not done! And then the promise to the dying thief from the King himself: immediate entrance into the kingdom. This Good Friday come again to the cross and know that you are granted eternal life, which begins now and never ends.
Power and wonder
As Jesus dies, the sun stops shining (v 45). But then the Temple curtain is torn in two, and the darkness of the world is flooded with divine light (John 1:5). Oh, the power and wonder of the cross. Good Friday indeed!
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