Updated: Apr 11
When you look at all the events of Good Friday, how can you say it was good? It was horrible for one, but good for many. I never really thought much about Good Friday growing up or all the events that lead to the cross.
By now, as a child, I would have had my new outfit purchased and waiting in the closet for Sunday. It would have been a dressy dress with black patent leather shoes, until I outgrew them. I hated those shoes, they never fit right and hurt constantly. Easter was more about the clothes, gathering of family, and the food back then.
We studied the story without the details of the betrayal of Christ, the trial, and the cross. Not until I was an adult did, I ever understand what the beating looked like. As a matter of fact, I really do not remember that passage being taught or discussed. The tearing of flesh, no that did not come up in my childhood or youth.
But today is Good Friday. So much happens in a short time. Last night was Maundy Thursday and we celebrated communion. As I look to scripture to understand all that took place, I am reading from Luke, John and Mark. Passover was celebrated, Christ washed the feet of his disciples before dinner, and he dismissed Judas. Then Christ gave the first communion as a new covenant that we continue today.
After Jesus foretold of his death and Peter’s denial, he went to the Mount of Olives in Gethsemane to pray. He was arrested and his disciples scatter. He is brought before the council. Peter denies knowing Christ three times. And then the rooster crows.
Now the trial takes place. And he is to receive the lashing. When it comes to beatings, I have never experienced one like Christ had. However, one of the worst thrashing I had was with a leather belt. It brought whelps on my legs and back, I could not sit or really move for at least an hour. But this punishment I recieved was nothing compared to the lashing Christ got. Mine was a punishment for a lie I told; Christ was innocent.
As if the beating wasn’t enough, he had to carry his own torture device. The cross. Solid wood, big enough to support the weight of a man without giving way. He was bloody and bruised. They hurled insults at him and shoved a crown of thorns on his head. Then they nailed him to the cross and lifted the cross into place. I can hear the thud as it is put into place and the groan that had to have come from his mouth.
Christ showed whose he was by showing forgiveness from the cross. Luke 23:34 “And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He watched scripture being played out at his feet when the soldiers cast lots for his garments. He sees His mother and His beloved disciple standing there. He gave the protection of his Mother over to John.
We heard Christ say in his prayer in the garden, “Abba, Father”. He was indeed talking to His Daddy, His Father. But on the cross having taken the full weight of our sins on his shoulders, he felt separated from God the Father. He cried out “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” Scripture shows us this is from Psalm 22. He breathed his last breath. And they pierced his side.
They took him from the cross, wrapped him in linen and laid him in a borrowed tomb. This is all that happened before sunset on Good Friday. For his followers, there was nothing good about this day. They failed to understand all that Christ had taught them. No, there was nothing good about this day to them. The good would come three days later. We established
Good Friday based on the crucifixion and the love God showed us by giving His son as our sin offering. We have the luxury of knowing what they did not, he will rise and walk with them again.
This is a reflection and a preparation for me. I walked through this with you as a way to prepare my heart for Easter, the day of resurrection. The heaviness of what has become known as Good Friday leads us to the lightness of the empty tomb. Today I mourn what He went through for me. He did all this for me. He did all this for you. So today I choose to mourn what his earthly body went through so that I can celebrate on Sunday the resurrection of my Savior.