Friday, April 22, 2011

An account of Good Friday

I can't imagine the joy and confusion that Mary must have felt when carrying God's child. If or How many times as HE grew did she doubt who HE was? All the pain and confusion she must have felt when Christ made His way down the Via dolorosa. The tears, the suffering she must have endured watching Him die on Calvary. The helplessness, the emptiness, the unbearable feeling of not only losing a Child, but the One who she believed--she knew was the Messaiah.

The disciples, followers, ones who had been healed, set free....they lost their friend, their teacher. The Man who they thought was the Chosen One had been crucified. He had committed no crime. He didn't put up a fight. They had seen him triumphant in debates with the Pharisees. Pilate knew of Jesus' innocence. As a man, He could have eloquently pleaded and won His case. He could have shamed the Pharisees. On the cross, as God he could have called forth anything to cease His crucifixion...

That trial began around 6 am. By approximately 9 am: Jesus had been scourged, mockingly dressed as a King, a crown of thorns was forced onto His head, a farce of a scepter was placed in His right hand. The soldiers mockingly hailed Him as king (HE who fulfilled prophecy a week earlier, the triumphant entry, when the People cried out and greeted Him as king as He entered Jerusalem "HOSANNA.") The soldiers spat on Him, and they took the reed and hit Him on the head. They mocked Him some more and then gave Him his Cross to carry. From a distance, His acquaintances and a group of women who followed Jesus observed His death and later His burial.

About noon the day as Jesus was hanging on the Cross, a darkness fell over the land. 3 Hours later, it was still dark and Jesus recites in His native tongue Psalm 22...quoting David in a Psalm that begins as a lament of the suffering Servant and ends in Victory..."My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?" Then, to quench His thirst (in accordance with prophecy), He sipped sour wine (not the drugged wine offered earlier but vinegar-like drink) from a sponge.

Finally, the time had come. The fulfillment of prophecy completed. In a loud voice, Jesus said to the Father that He was giving up/yielding His spirit and He exclaimed to the people "It is FINISHED." At that moment, Jesus CHOSE to release His spirit from the body.

The veil (our separation from God) was literally torn in two from the bottom up! The earth shook! Rocks were split! Jesus had died on the cross. The centurion, a gentile, a witness to the crucifixion of Jesus, recognized that the land itself testified and declared "Truly, this Man was the Son of God!"

The late afternoon had come. The Sabbath was to start at sunset. [Jewish law (Deut 21) prohibited the bodies of criminals to remain hanging overnight. Therefore to maintain the Law, it was necessary to hasten the death of those who were crucified; the soldiers normally accomplished this by breaking the legs of the offenders.] The 2 men crucified on the same day as Jesus had their legs broken, but when the soldiers came to Jesus, he was already dead. To make sure He was dead, a soldier pierced His side with a spear. As Jesus' lifeless body hung on the cross, blood and water poured out from His side.

A pharisee, a member of the council, a follower of Christ, a rich man, Joseph went to Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus. Pilate obliged. Joseph had a brand new tomb [it was customary to bury the dead in family burial crypts. If Jesus' body had not been placed in a new tomb, it would have been preposterous to claim that the tomb is empty] and it was nearby. Jesus' body was removed from the cross. Joseph and Nicodemus, a rich pharisee and follower of Christ, lavishly and lovingly prepared His body for burial. They used up to 1200 ounces of myrrh and aloe. They bound His body in strips of linen and with the spices. Then, they laid Him in the tomb. A large stone was rolled against the door of the tomb.

The chief priests (Sadducees) and Pharisees went back to Pilate, and expressed their concern that Jesus' followers would steal the body and claim that Jesus would rise on the 3rd day. Therefore, Pilate granted them a guard and instructed them to make the tomb secure with wax and the Roman government seal. The Sadducees and Pharisees made certain the tomb was guarded and that the tomb was sealed.

On the Sabbath, the mother, friends, and followers of Christ grieved and rested.

[mushroommommy typed it. The Bible said it.] I appreciate correction.

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