Good? Friday

When I was a child, I always wondered how the day when Jesus suffered murder by the state could be called Good. As I grew up and put away childish things and thoughts, I came to understand the story. It is the ultimate story of servant leadership. It is the story of how God himself came down in the guise of a man, to show us the way. Here’s a part of the story.

And so now we come to the climax. We have seen Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we have seen the Last Supper with it’s echoing call “Do this in Remembrance of Me”, we have seen the arrest during prayers in the garden.

We have seen Peter, renamed Cephas (the Rock) deny the Christ 3 times. We have seen the trial before the Sanhedrin, and the passing of the buck to the Roman, Pontius Pilate who could find no fault in this man but allowed him to be condemned according to Roman practice.

We have even seen the treachery of Judas, paupers who for 30 pieces of silver betrayed his Lord, soon repented, attempted to return the reward (which ended up funding paupers cemetery) and his death as a suicide.

And so now we come to the fatal procession from Jerusalem to Golgotha.

In one way or another we will all walk the Via Dolorossa. One of the mottoes I use to keep trying to do the right thing, “No one, not even Christ, ever got out of life alive”. For me, that about sums it up. You may as well do the right thing, you might not get the reward on earth that you were striving for, but at the judgment seat you will be rewarded.

Here is the story according to St. Matthew:

And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross, and the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew.

And the chief priests said unto Pilate, It should be written and set up over his head, his accusation, This is he that said he was Jesus, the King of the Jews. But Pilate answered and said, What I have written, I have written; let it alone.

Then were there two thieves crucified with him; one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it again in three days save thyself. If thou be the Son of God come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will save him, let him save him; for he said, I am the Son of God.

One of the thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. But the other rebuked him, saying, Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art under the same condemnation; and this man is just, and hath not sinned; and he cried unto the Lord that he would save him. And the Lord said unto him This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli,lama sabachthani?(That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?) Some of them that stood there, when they heard him, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let him be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

Jesus when he had cried again with a loud voice, saying, Father, it is finished, thy will is done, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and the bodies of the saints which slept, arose, who were many, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, heard the earth quake, and saw those things which were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him for his burial; among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.

Now, remember this was on Friday following the triumphant entry the prior Sunday. How the mighty had fallen, from the crowd’s hero, one might say a rock star, to an executed criminal buried in a borrowed grave in a week.

This was the man many had expected to free Israel from Rome, there would be others for that mission, it would culminate at Masada and in the destruction of Jerusalem and the diaspora. The next ruler of the city, after Rome, would be Islam, contested by the Crusader knights. But until our own time Jerusalem would not be ruled again by the Jews.

And so the Messiah, the King of the Jews died. The lesson would seem to be not to upset the applecart, to go along to get along, even to sit down and shut up, wouldn’t it?

It’s a pretty sharp lesson too. One of the most cruel methods of execution ever devised by man.

And so ends the story;

or does it?

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

11 Responses to Good? Friday

  1. the unit says:

    I know you’re not really asking for explanation of Good here. But… well, simply said…without a Good Friday there wouldn’t be a Blessed Easter now would there be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yep, that’s the answer, in one. He paid, we benefit, if we will only answer.

      Like

  2. A big simple Amen! And today is liturgically Holy Saturday or Easter Even! 🙂

    ‘O God, who in a wondrous manner didst create the race of man, and still more wondrously hast redeemed the same : grant, we beseech thee ; so stedfastly to withstand all the crafts and devices of sin ; that we may be found to attain everlasting felicity.’ – Through Jesus Christ, Amen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      That’s why, of course, it’s there today! 🙂

      Like

      • The Grand Atonement and Satisfaction of our Redeemer: The Lord Jesus Christ! Our “Jesus-Yeshua”! What a Savior and Salvation! That is ours TODAY 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh Father our GOD In Christ, let “praise” be in our hearts and on our lips! … You know us “preachers”, we got to preach! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • By the way, I was asked to preach at an up-scale (big) “Pentecostal” Church yesterday on Good Friday! (And with my Anglican collar and stole, the place went kinda nuts! And not my first “Pentecostal” experience however to preach!)…I will go just about anyway and any place when invited to Preach Christ! 🙂

          *And yes, we had the “Sacrament” of the Lord’s Supper, and that was the real experience… hands & hearts held high to worship and receive HIM! Yes, I am just a bit “high” today, but I hope high on the Holy “Ghost”! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • *anywhere, but surely also “anyway” also to preach about HIM!

          Liked by 1 person

        • And I am not myself a modern “Pentecostal” per se, but I NEVER try to measure what GOD will or will not do! I can still remember the so-called Charismatic-Movement in the late 60s’, 70’s and 80’s! It was a major effect among both the Roman Catholic and Anglican people and church to some degree. (Even a few UK Lutherans also!) Basic good days that are now almost gone among both Church’s in my opinion sadly. Though, I cannot speak for the Lutherans? I hear there are still some there! Would you know something here NEO?

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I don’t actually, Fr. I’ve read some, but mostly Catholics. I’m sure we still have some, like the Anglicans, and Catholics, but haven’t heard anything about them in years. Maybe I need to look a bit, time willing.

          Like

        • Yes, it was such a major work and movement for I would say over 20 years. It is sad to see it dwindle down! I will say here openly that I DO speak in tongues (“glossolalia”) sometimes, and of course mostly in my own prayer closet, which with my wife’s illness has reappeared more strongly again. Always to GOD be the glory!

          *Btw, my wife had surgery last week, and is doing much better. It was thankfully just an out-patient (early morning, and home that day affair. Amazing what they can do today, it was done without cutting! She has a stint near the kidney, which will come out soon.)… Thanks be to GOD! She is much better, almost herself again! And thanks again for the prayers!

          Liked by 1 person

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