Passion Week Staff Devotionals: Good Friday

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Luke 24:41-44 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Palm Sunday and Easter are the fun days. We get to celebrate the entrance of our King and then the next week Jesus’ resurrection. But many of us do not like to focus on Friday. It’s not really fun to think about death in general, but in this case it is extremely important. Death is the outcome of sin. Adam and Eve started us on this path long ago, after ignoring God’s warnings and disobedience in the garden. That choice, that sin, set us on a path of reckoning that we could never pay for. God had a plan to rescue us even before we messed up, because we could not fit the bill, only perfection could. So He sent His Son.

Without His blood, there is no hope. Without His sacrifice, we are the ones on the cross. Without His death, there’s no resurrection. Without His resurrection He becomes he.

I know I overlook the strength it took for Christ to shoulder the literal weight of the world. We read in Luke 22:41-44 that He is praying to His Father and asking to not go through with going to the cross. This is where His humanity shines through. But as soon as the mob comes to take Him, He has accepted the mission fully, and never prays again for release. In fact the next prayer recorded in the Bible is from the cross where He says (with nails buried in His wrists) ‘Forgive them, they do not know what they are doing,’ and this is where we see His divinity shining through.

Luke 23 :33-37  33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, pone on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”2 And they cast lots tto divide his garments. 35 And uthe people stood by, watching, vbut wthe rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

We know the end of the story; we know who wins. But today try and place yourself in the shoes of the small group of believers that Jesus surrounded Himself with. Insert yourself into the story, the hopelessness, fear, confusion and even the anger the disciples must have had is unfathomable. Stop for a few moments and truly dwell on the fact that the God who created you, gave up his position in the throne room of Heaven to come, be tortured, ridiculed, suffer and then died. The Creator died for the creation.