by: Sean Fitzgerald
Read Matthew 27:27-50
As I laid my head on the pillow last night I couldn’t stop thinking about all that was going to happen to Jesus as the world lay asleep. As they leave the upper room they move to the garden where Jesus spends some time in prayer, it’s obvious the disciples do not yet realize the magnitude of the night as they are found sleeping during Jesus time of earnest prayer. As the night continues, the betrayer arrives with an angry mob, arresting Jesus and dragging him through the late night and early morning courts of Pilate and Herod.
By the time Friday mornings activities begin, Jesus has been betrayed, deserted, denied, beaten, mocked, spit on, and sentenced to death. Soon he will be sent to The Place of the Skull, carrying his own cross where he will finish what he came to do. How ironic that only a week ago he entered the city to the praise and adoration of the crowd and now today he leaves the city to the sound of their jeers and cries of crucifixion. So much has happened in 6 days.
It’s about noon when the cross goes up, the sky goes dark and the onlookers watch as the “Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world.”No-one understands what’s happening, but when the ground shakes, the sky goes dark, and the temple curtain splits open they all begin to realize that there’s something bigger than expected happening at this moment.
As I read the gospel accounts of the crucifixion I am faced with this question: “How am I treating the gift of mercy and grace that is delivered to me on Good Friday?”
Are there moments where I, like the soldiers, mock Jesus, by pretending to allow him lordship of my life but really I maintain control?
Are there moments that like the disciples I leave him in the garden in fear of what going with him might mean for my life?
As we reflect today on the events of Good Friday may we fall deeper in love and appreciation with the gift of grace found in the sacrifice of the lamb that God provides, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, my Savior and yours.
TAKING IT TO THE FAMILY
Look up the lyrics to a song by Ray Boltz entitled Watch the Lamb. Read them with your family or listen to it on Youtube. Listen as the song walks through Good Friday from the perspective of Simon of Cyrene. The one forced to carry the cross of Jesus.
What does the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross really mean to you?
If you see this soon enough, consider opening your bible at noon and reading the crucifixion accounts. Then at 3 open and read them again with your focus on the last moments and the words, “It is Finished.”
What does “It is finished” mean?
What significant things happen as Jesus breathes his last and speaks those words? Why are they significant?
Even though this is a somber and difficult moment we must not forget that “It is Finished” doesn’t mean it's over. In 3 days, an empty tomb will declare that something new has begun!
NOW DO SOMETHING...
Take a minute to share via text, email, or Facebook what the death of Jesus on the cross means to you personally. It can be such an encouragement to one another when we express our appreciation and gratitude for the grace of God in our lives.
As we journey through the passion week together I pray our hearts will be cleansed and that our spirits will sore as we draw near to God together.
Blessings and Peace,
1 Comments on this post:
Jesus made the greatest sacrifice ever made. I don't deserve his sacrifice for the hope of an eternal home in Heaven.