Good Friday

The readings for today:
find them at http://www.io.com/~kellywp/YearABC_RCL/HolyWk/GoodFri_RCL.html 

Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Hebrews 10:16-25 or
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
John 18:1-19:42
Psalm 22

It is Finished. And it is Just Beginning

by Marjorie George

What does he mean it’s finished? What happened? It was going so well; five days ago the people welcomed him with palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna.” Four days ago he got the upper hand when he called out the temple authorities about their money-making schemes. A “den of robbers,” he said the temple had become. Last night we had dinner together and then went out to the garden to pray.

And then, suddenly, police and soldiers were surrounding us with their torches and weapons, grabbing at him, dragging him away. It was chaos, and it was all that Judas’ fault. We didn’t know where Jesus was for hours. And now he’s hanging on a cross like a common criminal saying it’s over. Is everything we worked for gone? Is the cause totally lost?

So many have believed and dedicated themselves to following him. The way he talked, how he encouraged people, even in the face of the ugliest of sins. The attention he gave to the outcasts. We were making such progress; people were beginning to listen and think about how they treated each other. They were beginning to visualize the possibility of a kingdom of peace and justice right here and right now. It was as if God himself had been guiding us.

Maybe this is what he was trying to tell us when he said things that didn’t make any sense to us. Like, “I am going away, and where I am going you can’t go.” We didn’t want to understand that. We couldn’t imagine being without him.

But what was it he said about sending an advocate? The spirit of truth he called it, sent from the Father, who will testify that Christ was indeed the Son of God. He told us that we also are to testify because we have been with him from the beginning. Our pain will turn into joy, he said. And God the Father will lead us and protect us. He said he was sending us into the world in his name so that the whole world will know that God-in-Christ loved us, all of us, and loves us still.

Yes, it is finished. But it is also just beginning. For as many as believe in him, them he will call sons of God and inheritors of the Kingdom.

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

For kingship belongs to the LORD;
he rules over the nations.

To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship;
all who go down to the dust fall before him.

My soul shall live for him;
my descendants shall serve him;
they shall be known as the LORD’S for ever.

They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn
the saving deeds that he has done. (Psalm 22:26-30)

For Reflection:

Pause today to think about the sacrifice and your part in what began this day and continues still.