Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Jesus was right.  The crow of the cock proves him right.  I have denied him.  He was right.  My lord and my teacher, I have denied.  Not once, but three times I have denied him.  What kind of follower am I?  I denied him.

In the garden I tried to defend him.  I cut off that slave’s ear.  I was so angry.  How could they treat Jesus this way?  He has done nothing more than to share the words of the Torah with them.  He has taught openly in the synagogue and in fields.  He did nothing wrong.  They arrested him.  And yet, he healed that slave. 

Then they bound him and took him away.  Why?  I was so afraid they would arrest me for being a follower that I denied him.  Not once, but three times.  He was right.  I am so ashamed and so afraid.  Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God.  How could they have treated him this way?  What happens now?  Jesus is dead.  Will they arrest me and the other disciples next?

I was so full of hope when Pilate asked if he should release Jesus.  Yet the crowd shouted that the criminal Barabbas be released.  What were they thinking?  They would rather a criminal be released than the son of God.  Barabbas is nothing more than a bandit who preys on the helpless.  Yet they would have him released instead of Jesus.  

And Pilate.  I wonder if he was really afraid.  He had Jesus flogged.   Perhaps he thought the crowd would let him go after that.  Those soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and striking him on the face. 

Pilate said he could find no case against him, yet the crowd kept yelling, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him." 

Pilate tried to talk to Jesus, to have him defend himself.  But Jesus wouldn’t do it.  All he said was, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin." What did he mean?

Pilate kept trying to release him, but the crowd wouldn’t let up.  They questioned Pilate’s loyalty to the emperor.  After that, Pilate had no choice, he allowed Jesus to be crucified.

So they took Jesus and made him carry the cross by himself.  They took him to Golgotha. There they crucified him between two criminals.  Pilate had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." 

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic;  the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it." This was to fulfill scripture.

Just before he died, Jesus saw his mother and one of the other disciples standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother."  He was worried she would have no one to care for her I guess.  I guess he knew better than to have me care for her.  Me, the disciple who denied him. 

When Jesus said he was thirsty, they gave him some wine.  Then he said, "It is finished." That was it, then he died.

What happens now?  Jesus, son of God, the Messiah is dead.  And I have denied him.  Not once but three times.  What is to become of  me?  Of all of us?  Will we be arrested next? 

They have taken Jesus’ body to the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea since it is the day of preparation.  

What happens next?   I am so afraid.  My lord and my savior is dead.  What is to become of me?

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