Good Friday 2020
Today’s readings include some of the best-known in the Bible. I encourage you to read them in order to enter the sacredness of this day. These are links, so Control + Click on each will take you to the online text.
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 • Psalm 22 • Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 • John 18:1-19:42
These are dark days indeed, as we approach the 100,000 mark for covid-19 deaths, with the actual number certainly higher. Millions of Americans are newly unemployed, people around the world are fighting for survival. Compared to all that is going on, and how much suffering is in existence, perhaps it is difficult to fully embrace the Easter Season, especially when we cannot meet as a church. Although the area around it is still undeveloped, the Cross in our Grotto stands waiting if you need it.
Good Friday covers a large part of the Easter Story, the Greatest Story Ever Told. In our readings for today, we read of Jesus being betrayed, arrested, beaten, put on trial, and finally crucified. I am always reminded of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” when I read this story. Although I only saw the movie once, in the theater when it came out, the vivid portrayal of Jesus’ final days here on earth remains etched in my mind: the blood, torture, humiliation, and agonizing death. I remember thinking, myself crushed and bruised from just watching the movie, that He did it all for me.
But we cannot forget the promise underlying the suffering. Through his experience, Jesus has saved us from death and sin. Though his coronation came while upon the cross, Jesus is now Lord of all, our Savior and one true King. By his stripes we are healed and given a new life through him. Perhaps we too can identify right now with Jesus’ words on the cross: “Father, why have you forsaken me (us)?” But only Jesus had to face that moment of despair, he did it for us, and now we have access to God’s presence eternally through Jesus’ sacrifice for us. It is indeed “finished”.
Good Friday is traditionally a day also to reflect on our lives and confess our sins, as we prepare for the glory of Easter Morning. Take time to be in prayer, in Scripture, and to recommit yourself to following Jesus and living the rest of your life in service to him.
One more reading to reflect on and pray with: