Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Friday of Holy Week has been traditionally been called Good Friday or Holy Friday. The English designation of "Good Friday" is apparently a corruption of "God's Friday," although the term is a very fitting one since the Lord's death was for our eternal good.
On this day, the church commemorates Jesus’ arrest (since by Jewish customs of counting days from sundown to sundown it was already Friday), his trial, crucifixion and suffering, death, and burial. Since services on this day are to observe Jesus’ death, and since Eucharist is a celebration, there is traditionally no Communion observed on Good Friday. Also, depending on how the services are conducted on this day, all pictures, statutes, and the cross are covered in mourning black, the chancel and altar coverings are replaced with black, and altar candles are extinguished. They are left this way through Saturday, but are always replaced with white before sunrise on Sunday.

The Seven Last Words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel traditions are often recalled as well.
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."(Luke 23:43)
"Woman, behold your son" ... "Behold, your mother!"(John 19:26-27)
"E'lo-i, E'lo-i, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" which means, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)
"I thirst." (John 19:28)
"It is finished!" (John 19:30)
"Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" (Luke 23:46)

Simply put in Mark 15:24. "And they crucified him." Jesus is believed to have died on the cross at 3 o'clock in the afternoon of Good Friday

At the Name of Jesus, every knee should bend
for the Lord became obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:10,8

And so today, on a day that is so beautiful outside, it becomes hard to get into the mood for remembering the events of Jesus' crucifixion. I find it hard to want to get into it at all, and yet it is at the very heart of what I believe and live as follower of Jesus.

Father forgive me...,forgive us....I am to forgive others as you have forgiven me,
70x7. Have I forgiven as you have forgiven me?

Jesus told the thief on the other cross that he would be in paradise with him today.
Lord, I too am a thief, will you forgive me and will I be in paradise with you also?
I know I have done wrong over and over again, but not you, you don't deserve this death, I do.

I am woman, I am to behold my son, my son in each one of you. We are all family in more ways than we realize. Do I behold you as my son? Do I behold you as Jesus?

Jesus, I feel so sad that you felt forsaken on the cross, and that you were forsaken by your followers. I have at times forsaken you too. It is so easy to give into the temptation to do so before I know it. There have been times I felt forsaken by God or that God was silent or not present, but God has not forsaken me. I can't imagine what it was like for you on the cross to feel the way you did and to cry out to God, "why have you forsaken me?"

Your thirst makes your death so real. And that they gave you a sponge soaked in vinegar, makes it all the more real. I thirst, and I drink water, tea, carbonated drinks. There was a time in my life I drank alcohol, too much, trying to numb my feelings. It is so powerful that not that long ago in your life Jesus you met the woman at the well and offered her living water that she would never thirst again. You thristed so that all may have that living water. May I too have your living water that I may never thirst again.

It is finished. Is it really? Is that all there is to the story. No more. No more parables to be told, healings to be done, miracles to be made, no more lessons for the disciples or the pharisee? Oh God it can't be, but you say, it is finished. We were just getting to know you.It can be over not yet.

Father into your hands I commit my spirit just as Jesus did his. I know no other one to commit my spirit too. Will you recieve me too?

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