April 10, 2020 Good Friday

By on April 10, 2020
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The crucifixion procession arrived at Calvary a little before nine o’clock Friday morning. Would Jesus speak? Seven words as he died.


First word:


Jesus first words from the cross show us that he was not thinking of himself and his own pain so much as he was thinking about others – others who were not even his friends and his loved ones. It’s hard to understand, but Jesus’ first words from the cross were for his enemies.


Luke 23:32-34

32Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing.


We learn a lot about the kind of savior we really have as in his dying moments he prays for the ones who have put him on that cross; he prays for us, for we, too have a hand in hanging him there. It’s our sin that spikes his head with a crown of thorns, our sin that drives in the nails that pierce his hands and feet, our sin that robs him of breath. Jesus prays for us.

Silence for meditation


Second word:

Jesus’ suffering continued and still he didn’t think of himself- this time the criminal hanging next
to him.


Luke 23: 39-43

390ne of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”


The criminal’s body would die on the cross that day. But grace gave him the promise of eternal life. What joy even through the pain and suffering- what joy in heaven and on that cross at a  sinner who repents. Jesus’ love is so great that it covers all our sins so that we, too have the promise of everlasting life in his presence.

Silence for meditation

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Third word:

Mary, the mother of Jesus was there at the foot of the cross. The prophecy of old Simeon had come true as her heart was pierced with that exquisite grief of watching her son die. What would become of her? What would happen as her son was put to death?


John 19:2527

25Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.


Mary had been a good mother and though she didn’t always understand her son, she loved him and treasured up all those special moments in her heart. It isn’t easy to watch someone you love suffer. And it must have hurt Jesus’ heart to see her in her grief. He speaks to her- Behold your son, behold your mother. And her tears become our tears as Jesus speaks words of love  and care to our hearts.

Silence for meditation

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Fourth word:


Mocked, ridiculed, the object of contempt, Jesus cries out.

Mark 5: 29-34


29Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 311n the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

33When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My            God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”


Jesus is now alone with our sin – separated from his father – alone in the hell-that we deserve. And because he took on our death, we can know that we are never forsaken by the Father who loves us enough to die for us. God is with us always, no matter how dark life may become. God is with us and Jesus is always at our side.

Silence for meditation



Fifth word:

Jesus has now been on the cross for several hours. Among his pains was the pain of extreme thirst.


John 19:2829

28After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.


Jesus was completely helpless. He had to depend on his enemies for his simplest needs, even getting a drink. Imagine God begging! Jesus who made the oceans and the seas, begging for a few drops of water. Jesus emptied himself for us, lowered himself even to taking on our sin so that we would know that he is the water of life for our souls. And even more, Jesus thirsts for our love.


Silence for meditation


Sixth word:

There were many different people under the cross of Jesus as he suffered his final hours. Most were there to make fun, to scoff. But one – one was a soldier who’s heart was touched – who felt enough compassion to life a sponge to Jesus’ parched and cracked lips as he spoke again.


John 19:30

30When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


Perhaps the most wonderful words ever spoken. Jesus has finished the work he came to do. He has paid the price and bought our salvation. Words of comfort amidst the grief and pain as he tells us that our salvation is sure, our hope is never in vain. Jesus did everything that needs to be done.

Silence for meditation


Seventh word:

It was over quickly after this. Jesus’ work is finished; he’s anxious to go to his father again. He is ready to die.

Luke 23:4448

441t was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. 47When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts.


Jesus bowed his head and died -for us.
Silence for meditation