Friday, April 18, 2014

Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.
And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand
(Jn 19).
For Mark, Jesus is the Son of God; for Matthew, He is King; for Luke, He is Saviour. But for John, Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God who was led to the slaughter; ritually bled so that no drop of blood remained in him. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, who was with him at the creation of the world, to die the agonising death of a cursed criminal. The cross that killed the Son of God blotted out our every sin: that which was torture for Him was a sweet gift to us – the path to eternal life.

On this Good Friday, take a moment to look at the man hanging upon that cross. Consider that our every selfish thought, our pride, our fits of anger, our lies, jealousy, greed and intolerance drove those nails into His feet and hands. Even in His deepest agony, He was forgiving us.

Jesus died the death of Israel's Messiah at the hands of the Romans, at the request of the Sanhedrin, by the will of the people. Far from God's fellowship, abandoned and forsaken, He tasted death for us all. The darkness, fear and agony are unimaginable. The death of Christ brought His disciples to the very depths of despair: they were abandoned, mocked and disillusioned. And yet they possessed within their hearts the peace which passes all understanding: an assurance, a hope that their time of testing might pass and that the curse of death might be conquered. They did not know; they believed. And the message they believed has been central to the Christian faith for almost 2000 years. It is one that has to be continually reinforced at times of stress, despair and danger; at moments when faith is tested and the will to overcome is undermined.

This is why Good Friday is so central in its symbolism: the descent of darkness, the portents of destruction, the expiry of vision and hope. It is the Good Friday that comes to every person at different times, when failure robs life of all meaning, joy and love. It is the collapse of enterprise, confidence, relationship and dignity. It is the descent into hell. God-forsakenness is something we might all feel, but, unlike Jesus, never actually experience. At His moment of mortality, He was nothing but an outcast and humiliated slave. When our moment comes, we are sanctified in His Shekinah and our fellowship will be consummate.

Christians endure what Josephus referred to as "that most wretched of deaths" on Good Friday because of the sure and certain eschatological hope of the Resurrection, which sustains us through the despair. This life does not promise the joy and ecstasy of the Easter event: that is for another place. All we can expect on earth is to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness: the world will hate us, but watch this video and consider that it hated Him first.

Today is a time to reflect, remember, re-enact how our sin brought Jesus to his death on Calvary and what that death meant for our sinfulness and redemption. The gospels present the death of Jesus in the light of His life and the gospels He preached. God delivered up His Son – surrendered Him – quite deliberately: the first person of the Trinity cast out and annihilated the second in order that we might be redeemed. In the infinite grief of that self-emptying is perfect love. How can we not be grateful? Love so amazing, so divine, demands our souls, our lives, our all.

34 Comments:

Blogger Dr Robert Warde said...

it was my sin that held him there, there can only be one response form me."demands our souls, our lives, our all." and because Love so amazing, so divine, saved my soul my all.

18 April 2014 09:16  
Blogger Len said...

The fact that the day of the scourging( almost to the point of death ) and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ should be called 'good' was a mystery to me as a child. Why 'good?'.

We also need to disentangle the pagan 'Easter festival ' with its' Easter bunny ' fertility symbolism far apart from the atonement of Christ before God for the sins of Humanity.

Jesus stood in our place accept our punishment for our sin that we might receive his Life by faith and be cleared of all charges before a Holy God.

Jesus cleared the path back to reconciliation between a Holy God and fallen sinful man for all that would accept Him.

18 April 2014 10:16  
Blogger Manfarang said...

What about the sins of the millions who lived in the Americas at the time and for centuries after?
Anyway this year I bought two hot cross buns the other day. Fist time I have seen them in Bangkok although I hear they are available year-round in British supermarkets now.

18 April 2014 10:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Manfarang @ 10:37

What about them, in your view?

18 April 2014 10:47  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Man faring

We do not Know about those that have not heard the Gospel

How Can they be saved if they do not Know or desire God?

That is why it is called Good News!

Phil

18 April 2014 10:58  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Phil @ 10:58

Surely not knowing and not desiring are not the same thing? They might desire it if they knew about it?

Manfarang's point applies also to all those, such as the ancient Britons, who lived and died before the time of Christ.

One answer is that it serves them right for being born in the wrong place and at the wrong time, and in their damnation the glory and justice of God is revealed.

My own view, although there are those who would consign me to Hell for saying so, is that in being born we are the victims of the choices of our parents. Since the unevangelised had no choice about the time and place of their birth, we can leave their fate to the justice of God (from whom our own sense of justice is derived) and trust to the hope contained in 'Romans' 2.

18 April 2014 11:13  
Blogger 45minutewarning said...

YG, you have described the meaning of this day in a wonderfully clear way.

Although a Christian for some 30 years now, I stil find the mystery of the cross being revealed to me. This article has further revealed its meaning to me.

Somehow, this particular Easter seems more significant than previous ones. Perhaps it is because of all the anti-Christian events that have been happening. Persecution sometimes sharpens our faith.

18 April 2014 11:51  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
What more can I say that has not already been said?

Today is a time to reflect. How can we not be grateful? Love so amazing, so divine, demands our souls, our lives, our all.

18 April 2014 12:11  
Blogger Frater minor said...

Hi Len, 10:16

The fact that the day of the scourging( almost to the point of death ) and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ should be called 'good' was a mystery to me as a child. Why 'good?'.

Yes indeed, this is the day Christ died, when our God was humiliated, rejected and put to death.
Yet it is a Good Day, because it is the day when Jesus was glorified. Jesus said that when he is lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. By 'being lifted up', he did not mean that he would be welcomed by humankind, but that he would be lifted up on a cross. Here on the cross, we see his glory and his vindication.

And it is good news for us too, since by his wounds we are healed, it was for our transgressions that he suffered.


We also need to disentangle the pagan 'Easter festival ' with its' Easter bunny ' fertility symbolism far apart from the atonement of Christ before God for the sins of Humanity.

Yes, indeed.



Frater minor

18 April 2014 12:56  
Blogger Frater minor said...

Hi Manfarang,

What about the sins of the millions who lived in the Americas at the time and for centuries after?

The Bible is very clear about the destiny of two groups of people:

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Revelation 21:8

and this group:

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God"
Luke 12:8

So it seems that those who confess Christ as Lord and follow him are saved, whereas those who practice the sins listed above are lost.

But your question is more subtle: what of those who fit into neither of these groups: what of someone who has literally never heard the gospel, yet still desires to follow God's way?

My answer is that this is just a theoretical question, since we do not know whether there are any people who fit this category.
We do know that God is not only just in himself, but he is also the judge of all humanity. Shall not the judge of all the earth do justly?

So IF there is anyone who has never heard the gospel AND desires to follow God's ways, his fate is in God's hands, which (to my mind) is the best place to be.



Frater minor

18 April 2014 13:18  
Blogger The Explorer said...

I don't myself have a problem with eggs and bunnies as a reminder of the New Life represented by the Resurrection. The problem is when they themselves become the meaning of Easter for secularised modern children.

And adults. Ask people why the Church allowed eggs and bunnies, and where they came from, and a surprising number haven't a clue about either question.

18 April 2014 13:23  
Blogger Stuart Cunliffe said...

Fifty-five years ago, I gave my life to Christ. In 55 years, He has never failed me.

I have often needed His mercy. It has always been available. I have ever needed His grace. He has never failed to supply it.

That's only one life, you say. I only had one life to give.

If I had a thousand lives, He would deserve them all.

Stuart Cunliffe.

18 April 2014 13:50  
Blogger IanCad said...

The church has one foundation,
’Tis Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation,
Through water by the word.
From heav’n He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation—
One Lord, one faith, one birth.
One holy name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food;
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.---

Samuel Stone

18 April 2014 15:12  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."

"Amen I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in paradise. "

"Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother."

"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"

"I thirst."

"It is consummated."

"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."

18 April 2014 15:33  
Blogger Paul said...

I'm open-minded - so I don't have a problem with these sort of s&m videos being available for those who are that way inclined.
However, I do feel a suitable warning should be attached.
On a more serious point - If I can see them so can innocent children who should not be able to watch this form of extreme pornography.

18 April 2014 15:52  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Paul:

If the Holocaust happened is it wrong to:

a) depict it?

b) watch such a depiction?

c) Is it possible that the motive for a and b might be other than vicarious gratification?

18 April 2014 16:23  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Paul

No problem exists. Adult site; adult intelligence & attention span required. Very rare to find so much as a teenager. Film far from pornographic and targeted to adult perception and maturity, therefore would only hold the attention span of a remarkably able and mature child under 12. Over 12 they are well capable of understanding and dealing with this.



18 April 2014 18:56  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace is usually most thoughtful in warning about potentially distressing material, and I am grateful. Being aware of the Passion (Suffering) and its content, I never venture to view graphic interpretations like this one (including crucifixes). I need to sleep at nights, and the NT text provides all I need to know.

In response to Paul and Explorer -one might observe that such depictions actually follow a long tradition of Affective Piety - and not unrelated branches of Imitatio Christi.

However, anyone who reads many 'mystic' mediaeval texts, such as those of Julian of Norwich, Margery Kemp, Catherine of Siena, etc, may see how dangerous and sick they (texts & writers) are! No wonder these people had visions: they fed themselves an emotionally hyped mix of unreality/ distressing reality -- and so they self-induced themselves into schizoid states.

That's perverting spirituality; and although some lessons can be inferred. it's a very messy business.

The whole sick-mindedness ties in wonderfully to the post-modern scene, of course. Franco-german filosofers love to deal in fragmentation and all the rest of it. As always, they're unoriginal: just a chip off the old block.

So. Some thickos may be unable to imagine pain and suffering unless they wallow in it themselves, emote over 6" nails and hammers, etc. But does crude depiction/participation really help them cope mentally with the cocept of God's sacrifice and its purpose?

18 April 2014 19:45  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. Len @ 10:16 -- The fact that the day of the scourging( almost to the point of death ) and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ should be called 'good' was a mystery to me as a child. Why 'good?'

It's my understanding that this is the Great Paradox of Christianity: wherein God transutes great evil into great Good.

Remembering that "god" is the Old English word for "good" also helps me. So ... God=Good.

18 April 2014 19:55  
Blogger The Explorer said...

The charge of pornography might have more credence if Christians believed the crucifixion to be the end of the story.

18 April 2014 20:20  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Len/ Non Mouse

You are kidding right?

Good Friday because it is a good day.

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are both days that on which we should rejoice.

Phil

18 April 2014 22:36  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Do you think it is a sad day that Jesus went to the cross?

If so who is it sad for? Jesus? us?

Phil

18 April 2014 22:39  
Blogger non mouse said...

I don't know what you're talking about, Mr. Roberts.

Do you not agree that the crucifixion of Christ was the most evil of Deeds, and it was perpetrated by evil men? We mourn the death of our Saviour; we mourn the necessity of the sacrifice; we do not pretend that man's propensity for evil does not exist. We wear black on Good Friday.

Do you not agree that, through the Sacrifice of God's Son, mankind is redeemed ("Father, forgive them...") - the greatest good that the Father could do for us?

Through the sacrifice, therefore, God transmuted greatest evil to greatest good. In short, Christ resolved the paradox on Good Friday.

What would I be kidding about?
---------------
PS: Sorry about my earlier typos - I can't see the screen properly on that other computer.

19 April 2014 01:06  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Through the kisses of a friend's betrayal
He was lifted on a cruel cross
He was punished for the world's transgressions
He was suffering to save the lost

He fights for breath, he fights for me
Loosing sinners from the claims of hell
And with a shout our souls are free
Death defeated by Emmanuel.

Stuart Townsend

19 April 2014 05:41  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Non Mouse

"Do you not agree that the crucifixion of Christ was the most evil of Deeds"

No

"perpetrated by evil men"

Perhaps, but only because Jesus allowed it so

Phil

19 April 2014 08:17  
Blogger Len said...

Phil Roberts,
The greatest evil in the World was when the perfect sinless Son Of God was unjustly [illegally] falsely tried and scourged to the point of death and then crucified for a crime He did not commit.
And you call this good?.
I suspect Satan thought it was 'good' to have finally rid his satanic Kingdom of the only real threat it was going to have .'Good'?
Perhaps if you were present in the Garden of Gethsemane you would realise the torment that Jesus was going through?.

I was actually thinking of Jesus not of myself.If you think it was 'good' for him then I actually wonder what side you are on?.

19 April 2014 08:27  
Blogger Len said...

Phil Roberts, The Crucifixion of God`s Son was a necessity for the purposes of salvation.
If I had a son and saw him being tortured then killed in the most painful way possible and I had to watch all this would I call this good.?
You are kidding right?.

19 April 2014 08:31  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

The most awesome occurence that ever took place on this Earth. Jesus our Creator, the Son of God, King of kings and Lord of lords cruelly executed so that people like you and me may spend eternity in the very presence of Almighty God.

And in the face of such awesomeness the BBC rejoices in the fact that horse racing took place on Good Friday for the first time.

How much further can this nation fall?

19 April 2014 10:54  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Let

Better the cross did not happen?

Jesus had few words to say about this suggestion I seem to recall!

Phil

19 April 2014 11:36  
Blogger Len said...

Phil Roberts in answer to your question.. Obviously not.

You perception of' good' is different to mine.

No one seems to know the origins of the good in 'Good Friday' in German it seems to be sorrowful Friday or mournful Friday which to my mind seems more appropriate.

It seems somewhat self centered to call another`s sacrifice 'good'.

My last word on the subject.

19 April 2014 11:57  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Phil, Len, non mouse

Cannot we just agree that it is a paradox, a holy one, and that you are all right, it is both most horrendously evil but at a deeper level ultimately for great good.

Like the harrowing of hell, which some of us think of today.

By the way I used always to think there was a quotation from Milton that was "out of evil still to bring forth good" but if you google it all you come out with is a wonderful book on St. Paul that uses the quotation and when I ran my "Paradise Lost" CD it couldn't find it. Anyone know if it is a false quotation or where it does come from?

19 April 2014 12:04  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I am aware of these lines from PL. spoken by Satan:

"If then his Providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth goo,
Our labour must be to pervert that en,
And out of good still to find means of evil."

But the puzzle remains that you can find eight passages quoting the "out of evil still to bring forth good" (and find a very interesting book by John Stalker on St. Paul as a reward!) but not the original quotation!!

Nevertheless the sentiment is key to this argument about whether good Friday is good or bad. It is both but good overcomes!!!

19 April 2014 12:40  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Apologies I seem to have a biscuit crumb under the "d" in my keyboard, and it needs pressing extra hard, so for "goo" read "good". Crumbs! Maintenance time now!!

19 April 2014 12:43  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Len

Jesus died For us

It is Good News. As St Paul wrote and Jesus Implied


p hil

19 April 2014 14:22  

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