Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday or Horrible Friday?

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

If you have watched the Passion movie you may have some idea of how gruesome, bloody, painful, horrible, excruciating this day we call Good Friday was for Jesus.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Just in case you have not read the accounts of the crucifixion here are some links to those passages. 

This was a terribly long day that started with a late night praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. There is greeted by Judas with the kiss of death and betrayal which leads to his arrest by a mob with swords and clubs. He goes through Jewish trials followed by Roman trials. He is mocked, beaten, rejected, and scorned. 

He is Flogged. Flogging at the hands of the Romans was incredibly brutal. The Jewish law only allowed for 40 lashes to be given in a flogging. So Jesus was given only 39 lashes. 
The Romans had no limit before a crucifixion they were only to leave their victim able to carry their own cross. The whip they used had a number of thin leather strips that were each embedded with bone or led balls. So the whip strands had bone or metal fragments or lead balls used to beat and tear the flesh. We know that Jesus was brutally beaten and required help to carry the cross.  

He is crucified A crown of thorns is mashed onto his head, nails perce his wrists and his ancles.  It is believed in the end the cause of death on the cross was asphyxiation. The person on the cross was hanging by their arms and would try to push up on the lower nails in the feet to keep the chest muscles from cramping so they could get a breath. At some point the amount of carbon dioxide in the system would cause death. 

I don't think we can begin to conceive of the pain and agony that filled this day. Even when we have surgery it is with an anesthetic. This is a day of torturous pain and agony filled with mental, physical and spiritual anguish. 

In the garden the night before, Jesus cried out to the Father asking if there was another way. There was no other way to purge the poison of sin from the human race. Jesus goes willingly into this day. We call it good because his punishment purchases our freedom from sin and death. 

Hebrews 12: 2b ...for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Look on him, consider him, remember him, share in his suffering. 

Romans 8:17
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

There is no pain, agony, disappointment, sorrow, grief or dispair that we face that compares to what Jesus endured on our behalf. The suffering of Christ was more than physical or mental pain it was also spiritual pain. To know that even after all he had done, most would prefer sin and death and would not accept his complete willing sacrifice on their behalf. He forces no one to believe or follow him. The joy set before him that day that caused him to endure the cross was to see your redeemed life. He made a way for you to be in restored relationship with a holy God.

Look on Him, consider Him, remember Him, accept what He has done for you. 

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