Good Friday – March 25th, 2016
Praying for God’s to Will be Done
Father, as we look back at history in hindsight, we confess that we are ashamed. In spite of our vantage point, and all that has been written and said about the “great sacrifice” of Your Son Jesus; our shame is that we know we probably would have done the same as all the others. Forgive us, and help us use what we have learned of You, to trust You, and to erase all doubt and disobedience in us. O God, we know Your mission, and are a living witness to the life it brings to all people. Let us see through the darkness that once again covers this world – into the fullness of Your marvelous light. Once again, evil men gather with destruction in their heart, and death on their minds. We pray for Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Today, we remember how our precious Jesus did suffer and die – they say it is most important to remember. But Father God… please help us now, to remember what is most important. Help us to pray that Your will be done, and Your Kingdom come… Amen
One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel as if we have been rejected or forsaken. When Jesus (as he was dying on the cross) asked God His Father “why have you forsaken me”? His words were a quote of King David who had prophetically asked the helpless question centuries earlier in his Psalms (22:1). In His despair Jesus was reciting the entire passage of David from memory as a source of comfort and strength in the face of uncontested suffering. The Psalmist goes on to say that he is “scorned by men and despised by the people.” Jesus is near to death at this point on Friday, and those around him started to divide His garments. “A company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and my feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them and for my raiment they cast lots.” Many evil-doers were gathered to witness the destruction of Christ our Lord. The devil had already failed in his attempt to overcome Jesus by luring Him with false promises; so he moves then to discredit and destroy Him through the judgment and condemnation of evil men by a dishonorable humiliating death on the cross. This prophecy could refer to no one else in history more clearly than to the crucified Savior Jesus Christ. Even during the time of His most intense suffering and affliction Jesus knew why God would turn His back on Him. That was always the plan. And no, the words of Jesus spoken to the Father from the brutal cross “why have You forsaken me” were not the doubtful confession that His enemies wanted to hear; but rather it was Jesus reciting the great hope foretold… everything promised of old was being fulfilled and now coming full-circle. Knowing all this did not make it easier for Christ, it just made it more meaningful for us. This was an unparalleled act of courage, love, and mercy – a sacrifice never seen before, and never seen again. Was Jesus truly forsaken and forgotten? No, not in our way of understanding – not even for a moment. But yes, for a moment… He hung suspended and timeless in the darkness that exists between two worlds. He was suspended between heaven and earth to make the only way possible to a world without sin and sorrow, death and suffering, to a world without end. Jesus was in that moment, carrying everything that is evil upon Himself to create eternal hope, and new life for people such as you and I. Hope for all people from all times, and all places. And as we know first hand – because He did what He did, He will never ever be forgotten.
Questions to Consider
- Did you know that ancient prophets predicted the death of Jesus over five hundred years before it happened? Which prophets were they?
- If this is true, how does this impact the life and death of Jesus to those who see Jesus as fictitious, or as just a mere coincidence?
- Did God really forsake His only Son when Jesus was crucified?
- In what ways have we forsaken and forgotten the crucified Jesus?
A Word of Wisdom
Blessed is the mind and intellect that during prayer is free from all materialism and stripped of all possessions… The Philokalia