Good Friday Meditation
As you set aside this time each day, know that you are not alone. Others are joining you in this journey. We find ourselves in different places and spaces but we are all still gathered together in the wide, loving embrace of Jesus.
Luke 23:26-49 (NIV)
As the soldiers led Him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then
“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’
For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals—one on His right, the other on His left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His clothes by casting lots.
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at Him. They said, “He saved others; let Him save himself if He is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
The soldiers also came up and mocked Him. They offered Him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
There was a written notice above Him, which read: this is the king of the Jews.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at Him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Death of Jesus
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When He had said this, He breathed his last.
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Click HERE to watch a brief "children inspired" devotion based on today's scripture reading.
Whether we are full of joy, or having a time of dark and overwhelming emotion, Jesus is always beside us. Like the thief on the cross, He will not forget us. Knowing this helps us remember, too, the promises He made of a future filled with peace, hope and love. Click the link to listen or sing with us.
It’s hard to really imagine the events of Good Friday. They seem so ugly and brutal. But, they are the reason for our hope and the source of our salvation. Without Your sacrifice on the cross, we can’t truly live. Help us to die with You today so that we can truly live with You, in You and through You.