Good Friday

Good Friday or Holy Friday.  Where did that name come from for the awful day our Lord Jesus was falsely accused, condemned, beaten, and crucified? Good? How was that day good? Scholars say the word “good” comes from the Old English “good” meaning holy.   Others argue that the good comes from Jesus sacrificing himself for us. That is the best thing that could ever happen for us.  Jesus paid the ultimate price and we received the ultimate good gift.

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Early Friday morning, Judas realized what he had done and was overcome by guilt. He threw the money on the ground and he hanged himself on a tree, not being able to live with what he had done. Around 9:00 a.m. Jesus was in the midst of being mocked, accused falsely, shamed, and horribly beaten.  Horribly beaten is putting it mildly.  He was whipped and scourged to the point His flesh was torn off.  Some accounts say that His bones were exposed showing white against the bloody red.  Still our precious Lord did not cry out. He endured true to scripture.  Then after a corrupt trial He was sentenced to be crucified, which is one of the most agonizing, painful, and disgraceful deaths of that time or any.

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They placed a crown made out of pointed, sharp thorns on His head and pressed it down. Hard.  The large thorns cut into His head and face.  Can you imagine the pain of just that one act? They mocked Him, spat on Him, and made Him carry His own heavy cross.  The weight was so heavy He stumbled under it.  The soldiers grabbed someone from the crowd to help carry it.

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He was still being tormented. Even as the soldiers hammered the nails in His precious body to the wooden cross, He was being insulted and mocked. Did He respond in kind?  No. Through it all He remained silent.

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His followers were clustered at the foot of the cross. They were mourning, grieving, and suffering. Did Jesus finally say anything? What did Jesus say? He told Mary and John there were now mother and son. He lifted His head and asked: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV).

He asked for forgiveness for those crucifying and tormenting Him. Then, the soldiers divided His clothes among themselves. They continued to mock Him and baited Him saying if He was truly God’s Son, then save Himself. One of the thieves hanging beside Him asked Jesus to remember him for surely He was God’s Son. Jesus told the thief he would be in Paradise with Jesus.

Around noon it became very dark and gloomy. The sun stopped shinning. Around 2:00 Jesus asked “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And then Jesus realized to fulfill scripture one more thing must be done, so He said “I am thirsty.” They gave Him some sour wine on a sponge and held it up with a branch. After tasting it, Jesus said “It is finished.” He then said in a loud, clear voice with head lifted “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.”

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Then he died. This was about the ninth hour or 3:00 p.m. This literally shook the world. There was an earthquake, rocks broke, the temple curtains were torn in half, and tombs opened and bodies of Holy people were raised to life.” Wow! Can you imagine being there?

Rather than break his legs as they do at the end, the soldier took a sword and pierced Jesus in the side.  Blood and water gushed out.  They were positive He was dead.  Oh, can you comprehend what His poor mother and followers went through watching that?  The heartbreak?

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Joseph of Arimathea asked for the body of Jesus so that He could be buried in a tomb on his land. Then before 6 p.m. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, took Jesus down from the cross and lay His body in a tomb. The tomb was sealed with a large, heavy stone that took more than one soldier to move. More soldiers were posted to guard overnight.

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Did I take you through the events of Good Friday?   I hope you were able to walk there and envision it. It is unbelievable the pain of that day, isn’t it.  To say Jesus suffered and died is so understated.  Jesus was tortured, beaten, mocked, flogged, had nails driven through his hands and feet, and was bloody almost beyond recognition.  He did this for us. You and me.

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