Today we’ll trace Jesus’ steps on Good Friday, the most difficult day of Passion Week. Christ’s journey turned treacherous and acutely painful in these final hours leading to his death.
According to Scripture, Judas Iscariot, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus, was overcome with remorse and hanged himself early Friday morning.
Meanwhile, before the third hour (9 a.m.), Jesus endured the shame of false accusations, condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment. After multiple unlawful trials, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion, one of the most horrible and disgraceful methods of capital punishment.
Before Christ was led away, soldiers spit on him, tormented and mocked him, and pierced him with a crown of thorns. Then Jesus carried his own cross to Calvary where, again, he was mocked and insulted as Roman soldiers nailed him to the wooden cross.
Jesus spoke seven final statements from the cross. His first words were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV). His last were, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46, NIV)
Then, about the ninth hour (3 p.m.), Jesus breathed his last and died.
By 6 p.m. Friday evening, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, took Jesus’ body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb.
On the Friday, Jesus died.
Imagine, just for a moment that you do not know the end of the story. Jesus is dead…
Pause for a moment, give thanks to God for the link made with our world through Jesus. Just for a moment consider what different it would have made, if Jesus had not risen from the dead ……… What if Jesus had just performed miracles, talked a lot about the kingdom of God and spoken about how much His Heavenly Father loves us?
Sure, He still would have been praised for these things by those who followed Him, and he would have been held in awe by them until the day He died. After that there would still be fond memories of a man who was a good man. There would be memories of His childhood and some of the things He said.
But, eventually some of the things He said and did would be forgotten, even by His most devout followers. The truth is, at some point in time the memories that did exist would be in the minds of those who knew Him best and no one else. That would be the end of His story.
Two thousand years later, you and I would have not been impacted by His death — an ordinary type of death, then and now, not unlike anyone elses in time. Maybe, just maybe, some of what He “supposedly” did would have been passed down through time. There are always some who hold on to beliefs they can only have through faith or through stubborn ignorance.
The fact is, even if Jesus performed miracles, talked a lot about the Kingdom of God, and spoke about how much His Heavenly Father loves us, none of that would matter if His remains were still in a grave. None of what Jesus did, what He may have done or even possibly did, matters if it does not impact us today. A life without the resurrection, means no hope of Heaven. Without the resurrection, we still would be waiting on the Messiah to come. No resurrection — no eternal forgiveness of sin.
Through the resurrection is the promise of new life. In the resurrection is the assured hope of salvation. In the resurrection is the guarantee that there is an eternal life beyond this world. In the resurrection there is the blessed hope that a place is reserved for those who believe on His name.
I hope you have plans for attending an Easter Sunday service — to experience a time of worship with family wherever that may be. At CFK you will receive a very warm welcome to our family celebration beginning at 11am.
credits for this series on Holy Week and Lent
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