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.