Week 7 Friday (Good Friday)
The Death of Jesus
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.
Jesus Is Buried
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments.
Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46
Jesus breathed his last. This is a soft, somewhat tactful way to describe a moment that could not be more horrific. Here’s the full truth: Jesus died. To be more specific: His broken body hung lifeless on a cross. The prophet Isaiah seems unconcerned with mincing words when he writes,“…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…he was oppressed and afflicted…like a lamb to the slaughter.”
As Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6, “The wages of sin is death.” He’s making a statement about justice and fairness. His meaning is the wages of my sin is my death. In other words, you and I deserve to die for what we have done and haven’t done. But on the cross, that notion of justice gets turned upside down and changes forever. On the cross, the wages of my sin are Jesus’ death. In the course of history, Jesus and Jesus alone is the only one who didn’t deserve to die. He was completely innocent, without sin. But He chooses to die to settle all accounts, to willingly and lovingly pay the full wage of your sin and my sin. All of what happened on Good Friday happened for us. He breathed His last and He died, and our sins died with Him. He rose again to share eternity and immortality with us.
This event is rightly described as horrific. This event is also rightly described as beautiful. Consider the paradox.
Gracious Lord, Your son Jesus Christ loves me so much that He would do whatever it takes to rescue me, even lay down His life on a cross. May my life, my words and my deeds be a reflection of His perfect love. In Jesus’ name, Amen