Today is Good Friday, the day of the year is most wrongly named. Yes, the results of it are right, for the suffering of Jesus secured our forgiveness and our salvation. But it was not “good” in any way. Today’s reading comes from Matthew 27 and just like yesterday’s was too long to include the entire passage, I’m only going to include a couple of verses here:
45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This is Jesus upon the cross. Of all the words that Jesus said upon the cross, these are the ones that always get me the most. Yes, this was a quotation of Psalm 22, and we will unpack that in just one moment, but first, I want us to stop and hear the pain and the anguish of Jesus in this moment. He knew this moment was coming; He is the Lamb that was slain before the foundations of the world. He knew that in the end, it was His job to redeem for the Father a royal priesthood, a kingdom made of all nations and races. He knew that.
And He knew that the only way possible was through the cross. Sin must be atoned for. The fall must be redeemed. The works of the devil must be destroyed. In was leading to this point. And Jesus knew it. And chose it. He set His face like a flint towards Jerusalem. He asked the Father to take this cup from Him, but when the time came, He drank from it. No one forced His hand. He chose this path. He loved us enough that He followed the will of the Father.
It is important for us to consider and remember the pain of this day, the pain of this moment.
But, let us also remember what He quoted, Psalm 22. It begins, “My God my God, why have you forsaken me?” But it ends in victory. It ends in hope and restoration. That is where this story ends. Never forget that. Never forget that end in the darkness of this day, it always ends in grace.
It is Friday, but Sunday is coming.
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