“Good Friday Remembrance” By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Good Friday Remembrance

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell

Scripture Readings: Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 15:1-15 (The citations noted come from the Chronological Study Bible, New King James Version)

Tomorrow is Good Friday. We remember these events leading up to this time:

Jesus had supped with his disciples, had gone with them to the Garden of Gethsemane and left them to sit while he went away from them to pray. He prayed three times, “Oh My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And the disciples had fallen asleep. He had to wake them because even as he did, Judas was coming with a crowd which included the chief priests and elders—his intention was to betray Jesus, to identify him to these officials who plotted to kill him. (Chronological Study Bible, Matthew 26:36-56). Then he is arrested, tried by Caiphas, the high priest, then turned over to Pontius Pilate the Roman governor who tried him yet another time. In the meantime, his disciples denied him and fell away. Even Peter who followed him from a distance denied him three times before the morning the next day.

Morning came and Jesus was brought before Pilate who questioned him, but Jesus said little in response. In preparation for the Passover Feast, it was a custom to let go of one of the prisoners and Jesus and Barabbas were offered as candidates to be let go, but the crowd chose Barabbas and when Pilate asked, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” And the crowd cried, “Crucify Him!” (Mark 15:1-15, Chronological Study Bible).

Only days before this, He was cheered, revered, hailed with palms.

Events had changed course—

He was arrested, tried, sentenced to death, abandoned by his friends.

Flogged. Scourged. Stabbed. Mocked–A crown of thorns was placed on His head.

Sneered. Jeered. Slapped. He was nailed to a cross like a common thief.

And just before He died and let out His final cry, “from the sixth hour to the ninth hour”—

–“there was darkness over the land”

–“the veil of the temple tore from top to bottom”

–“the earth quaked”

–“rocks were split”

–“graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised”

“‘Truly this was the Son of God!’”

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we remember your death on the cross. We remember that you suffered for our salvation, that you loved us so much that you died as a blood sacrifice to save us from our sins, that in doing so you entered into a covenant with us. We wait—we wait to celebrate your resurrection. In remembrance of you, Amen.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: