It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,
45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
– Luke 23:44-46
Friday April 07, 2023
Hooray… It’s Good Friday! What’s good about this Friday? Well, everything. What the enemy meant for evil, God turned around for good. It would have been a sad gloomy Friday in history had Jesus been killed and not risen again. Rather it became the best Friday ever because the crucifixion opened the door to eternity and reconciliation with God for all humans. Jesus swallowed up death in victory and brought back the Tree of Life to us.
As we reflect on Christ’s sacrifice on this symbolic Good Friday, let’s come back to the foot of the cross and relive the last words of Jesus Christ.
Knowing that God is always intentional and deliberate in His actions, the last words of Christ on the cross would then bear insight into what God is doing and his mind with regard to mankind.
For the next few days, we will take lessons from these words spoken by Christ on the cross;
The first word
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34
What a man! What a sacrifice! What a savior! Jesus’ first words were not for him, but for us. He that epitomizes love carried us in His heart even on the cross. The word spoke the word of release, a moment that changed the course of life and humanity forever.
Faced with a certain humiliating death, convicted based on a rigged and manipulated trial, and in pain and anguish yet he was not bitter. He saw the consequences of this action beyond the few people that killed him into the future and chose to release humanity from the guilt and shame of the cross.
Love offered us forgiveness and release while we were yet in sin. In Christ, we truly have full remission and atonement for sin. You don’t need to carry the burden of shame, guilt, and judgment.
When you receive His forgiveness, you are equally empowered to live like Him. Free of bitterness and anger, rather forgive and release others knowing that God is working all things together for your good.
The second word
“Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
Surely the cross was a properly scripted eternal redemption plan. After speaking forgiveness to all. The Love of God on the cross was still focused on the ones He came to save. He demonstrated forgiveness by accepting the repentant thief on the cross. Though an act of injustice, the divinely orchestrated Golgotha crucifixion between two thieves was the perfect setting for love to be sacrificed.
Thievery is synonymous with stealing, an act of depriving others of what is truly theirs and appropriating the same to the perpetrator’s advantage. It is symbolic of a sinful life. While one thief made a mockery of Christ’s love, the other embraced Him. And we see eternity unveiled to us that when we recognize, repent and receive Christ’s love the future is secure, safe, guaranteed, rewarding, and joyful.
The third word
“Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.” John 19:26–27
Isn’t Jesus so amazing? Still reeling in pain and anguish, naked and exposed, being mocked and insulted, He still recognized and acknowledged the ones that have stood with Him through life’s journey.
He treated His mother with dignity in these excruciating dying moments. The law says ‘Honor your Father and Mother…’ Love lived it out. I’m sure if His father was alive, he would have done the same to him too. He looked out for the consolation of people that have been by His side.
Beloved, no matter how difficult life may be, endeavor to care for and honor your parents. Care for the ones that have stood by you through life’s journey, encourage them, and plant seeds of consolation.
Our acts of love for people close to us will bring healing and reconciliation to our world and community.
LET US PRAY:
Thank you, Lord, for the day you died to save humanity. Thank you for your amazing love. Thank you for the atonement for sin. Thank you for forgiving all the sins of mankind even me.
I pray Father that you will cause the veil of ignorance to be torn off the heart and eyes of people in my family, neighborhood, and community. Open their eyes to see the love of Christ revealed through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Grant unto me the boldness, creativity, and power to share the good news of salvation everywhere I go. Help me to be a faithful witness of the amazing salvation. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.