Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

Evil isn't ever supposed to triumph over good, is it? 
That's one reason why the day of Jesus's death was such a mystifying and awful day.
The disciples are dumb-founded. The Son of God isn't supposed to die. It isn't right. It isn't natural. Has everything that they have founded their lives and faith on just crumbled to the ground?
Have the bad guys just beat the only real good guy? That's not supposed to happen, is it?
Was everything Jesus told them a lie? 

Or have they, instead, just witnessed the most miraculous, breathtaking event in all of history...?

The irony of it: God, becoming man. God, being born in the filthy muck of a stable. God, washing dirty travel-worn feet. God, willingly dying for sinners. God, being mocked, and cursed, and spat on. 
It's not normal. 
The Christian faith, Jesus's life here on earth, God's incredible love for us, the longed-for return; it's all anything but normal. 
It's extraordinary. And that's what we have to always remember no matter how many times we hear the story. 

"The cross was two pieces of dead wood; and a helpless, unresisting Man was nailed to it; yet it was mightier than the world, and triumphed, and will ever triumph over it." (-Augustus William Hare)

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 
And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!" 
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!"
There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."
One of the criminals railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember when you come into your kingdom." 
And Jesus said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."(Luke 23:32-43)
...Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister...and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:25-27)
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Elil, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:45-46)
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst."
A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:28-30)

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