A Glimpse of Sacred Moments on Good Friday

Rembrandt_-_The_Three_Crosses[3]

It’s Good Friday.  The first thought I have when I hear it’s Good Friday, I think it’s anything but good knowing what Jesus experienced.  We usually don’t think the few days before Jesus’ crucifixion were good or beautiful.  But there were holy and prophetic moments that had to take place for you and me.

These sacred moments had to happen: the moment Judas handed Jesus over to the guards, the moment Peter betrayed Jesus, the moment when Jesus had to stand trial before Pilate, the moment the high priests and Jews yelled, “Crucify him!”, the moment he was ridiculed, beaten, flogged, broken, spit on, and how he was forced to carry his cross.  Then Jesus was thrown down onto the cross and too weak to stretch his arms out on the cross, the soldier grabbed them, threw them on the wood, and hammered his hands and feet into the cross.  The cross was raised and there he hung.

Then only the struggled sound of his lungs gasping for air could be heard. The hate swirls in the air as he uses what’s left of his strength to lift his body to give himself a breath. His forehead dripping with blood from thorns shoved in his brow. His was face tired and weary covered in both dry and fresh blood. His eyes. His eyes looked on with compassion with what these people had done because His love for them remained. As the hours drag on, he remains silent. Not a word comes from his mouth. No retaliation, no defense. He takes the taunting, the jeering , the hateful remarks as if they’re whips to his beaten body. (reading from Bianca Bortolussi)

Then the final moment was here and Jesus cries out loud, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” and breathed his last breath.

But there is still beauty that led to the cross.  Jesus still experienced moments of love and compassion in the midst of his pain and suffering.

What about the moment when Jesus knew Pilate saw Jesus innocent, and wanted to set him free, but couldn’t because he gave into the crowd yet deep down maybe he sensed what Jesus had to do.

Or the moment Jesus and his mother locked eyes together and he comforted her with love just by the way he looked at her and made sure the disciples would take care of her.

What about the moment when Simon from Cyrene helped Jesus carry the cross when he couldn’t do it by himself anymore.

Or the moment when the man on the cross beside Jesus defended him as they hung there, saying Jesus didn’t deserve to die, and how that must have still brought Jesus joy, knowing they’d be in heaven together soon.

Each moment was a step closer to the beauty of our salvation.

Then after Jesus’ last breath, speechless moments continued: mountains shook and lightning struck. The curtains of the holy temple tore in two from top to bottom.  The centurion saw the temple divide and praised God saying, “Surely this was the righteous Son of God!”.

The moments his followers, over the next two days, thought it was over. Now what?

And what about the moment, only God knew, that was about to happen – Jesus’ resurrection!

Every moment in life counts.  God’s Word makes that very clear, filled with promises that each moment in Scripture, and in our lives today, are all part of His plan.

May this holy Friday, and the promise of Jesus’ resurrection, be filled with moments that remind you of his redeeming and relentless love for you.

{*Picture above is Rembrandt’s “The Three Crosses”}

Beth

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