From this point in history it’s easy to brush over ‘Good Friday.’ It’s easy to intellectualise and de-personalise the events that took place in our haste to get to Resurrection Sunday. But consider with me for a moment some of the things that Jesus went through on this day:
He is betrayed by a friend who had walked as part of his company for the past three years. A friend who ate at his table and saw firsthand his miracles and his teaching.
He is deserted by most of his disciples who were thrown into confusion and fear.
He knows the fickleness of a mob when he is ridiculed by the masses, who at the beginning of the week had hailed him as their King.
He is beaten and flogged and insulted and mocked.
And most devastatingly the Father turns away from him. So given this, how does Jesus respond?
He asks his Father to forgive those that mock and scorn and crucify him.
He welcomes the criminal beside him and extends the ultimate pardon.
He sees his mother watching in the crowd and asks his dearest friend to take care of her. And he surrenders his life.
Darkness for three hours.
The earth shakes, rocks split.
Graves are opened. The dead raised.
And the curtain in the temple is torn from top to bottom.
It is the events of Good Friday that caused the crowd to perhaps wonder “What kind of man is this?” as they leave in dismay beating their breasts and the Roman Centurion to declare “Truly this was the Son of God.”
Today I am praying that we would profoundly know the generous love and compassion of Jesus who, in his darkest hour, pleaded “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
Truly this is the Son of God.
Jo Peart is part of our Gateway leadership team.