The Via Dolorosa
Updated: Apr 19, 2019
Good Friday? Ordinarily we do not associate "good" with flogging, bleeding, thorny crowns, extreme hunger and thirst, nail-pierced hands, feet and side, indescribable pain, bile, death, grave and burial. That reads more like "worst day of my life". Well, it was the worst day of Jesus' life but the culmination of the greatest love story of all time. Arrested on Thursday night betrayed by one of His own, stripped, scourged, spat on, dragged all over the city to be tried six times at various locations-from the High Priest Annas' to the Sanhedrin, the Romans, before Pilate, Herod then to Pilate again, who finally sentenced Him to death.
Jesus knew full well the pain and torture He was going to endure. He nearly chickened out in the Garden, pleading with God to take away the cup of suffering but ended with " not my will but Yours be done". His love for you and I kept Him going. He did not utter a word in His own defense during the trials. He was led away from Pilate, with the crown of thorns firmly pushed into His head, blood and sweat running down His lovely face mixed with spittle hurled at Him from the very ones whom He came to save. The Roman soldiers had a field day, mocking Jesus, and beating Him in the head again and again.
In this state-tired, famished, dehydrated, anguished-Jesus was given His cross to carry. He did not just carry a cross but carried our sins with it. He reached the place of His death. He was nailed to the cross. For six hours He hung there. For six hours the son of God, the God-man, the Creator, the divine healer, miracle worker, deliverer, He who raised others from death hung on the cross. Love for us and not the big menacing nails kept Him there. The innocent, the one who knew no sin bore our sins on the cross; flanked by a thief and a murderer one of whom dared to cast aspersions on Him. It was not a quick and noble death. It was a disgraceful, unimaginably cruel death.
Good Friday? Yes, it was a good day for us. When He finally said "it is finished", bowed His head and died, things begun to turn around for our good. At the very moment He breathed His last, the curtain covering the Holy of Holies tore into two, symbolically giving us free access to God through Jesus; graves opened and the dead rose; lives changed when a soldier proclaimed He was indeed the son of God.
Sin can no longer control us, we only need to believe in Jesus to be saved, our righteousness is guaranteed because of His death. No rituals, gimmicks and sacrifices need to be made for our sins anymore. He was the ultimate sacrifice. We can live free because of Good Friday. We are guaranteed eternal life because of Good Friday.
So yes, today is aptly named Good Friday. Take a minute to reflect on what happened today more than 2000 years ago and do not let His death be in vain. Dare to live for and share Christ with others. When you find something good you do not keep it to yourself, you share. Let me conclude with the concluding verse of 2 Corinthians 5, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Happy Good Friday.