What’s so good about Good Friday?
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    Soul Rythem

    Jesus’s seven last sayings on the cross still resonating

     In the last hours of His life, while He was suffering greatly on the Cross, Jesus Christ didn’t talk much. He didn’t whine, accuse or rage against His abusers. Instead the Gospels tell us that during those painful dwindling moments of his 33-years on Earth, Jesus uttered just seven sayings.

    Over the years on Good Friday, I have heard numerous preachers sermonize the Seven Last Sayings of Jesus Christ on the Cross. At the services I have attended, each preacher would take one of the sayings and give rousing interpretations of what was happening leading up to Jesus’s utterance and how Jesus’s saying applies to our lives. Some of the sermons have been powerful enough to bring me to a place where I have felt the anguish that Jesus must have felt as He hung there on the cross surrounded by people who had cried out crucify him, some of them the same people who had followed Him.  Or the disappointment that may have overtaken Him when He noticed with human eyes that His disciples deserted Him. What a fickle people; how much I am like them some days.

    Today I go again to a Good Friday service, eager for yet another glimpse into the divinity and humanity of the son of God who was crucified for our sins. Even now as I read each of the seven sayings, the depth of His obedience, His forgiveness, His love stands out. His words ring out like the peal of a noon hour bell.

     As I ponder His sayings anew this Holy Week, I notice that Jesus talked mostly to His Father. He spoke to Him on behalf of mankind or should I say my-kind. He knew then as He knows now that we would need God’s forgiveness because we do things and cannot always explain why we did them. He endured the whips, the scorn and death on the Cross as an act of pure love for us.

    I’m imagining myself in the jeering crowd and asking God to forgive me. I’m putting myself in place of one of the criminals hanging next to Him and asking Him to redeem me. I am thanking Him for being my unbroken connection to the Father and for never ever forsaking me. I know that when I thirst after Him with my whole heart He will fill my empty places. I believe that when it’s all said and done there is no better hands in which to place my trust than in God’s.   

    I am so very grateful for Jesus and what He did that Good Friday on the Cross and for His words, which still draw me closer to Him every time I read them or hear them preached.

    Take some time today or this weekend to sit with these last sayings of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Ponder what they mean to you. It will strengthen your relationship to Him.

    “Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

    “Verily, I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)    .

    “Woman, behold your son. Behold thy mother.”  (John 19:26-27) 

    “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46Mark 15:34

    “I thirst.” (John 19:28)

    “It is finished.” (John 19:30) 

    “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”  (Luke 23:46) 

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