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Good Friday is the sixth day of Holy Week. After Jesus was betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He is dragged before a Jewish court of law led by the high priest, Caiaphas. The take Him to Pilate who was the Roman prefect of Judea so they could ask for a death sentence. Pilate, being the typical politician that he was, saw that this was a possible political hot potato so he sends Jesus to Herod. Herod seeing the same thing sends him back to Pilate who then decided to take a vote of the people. He gives them the choice between a known thief named Barrabas and Jesus. The people who welcomed Jesus with exuberance and joy on Palm Sunday were the ones who voted for Barrabas just 6 days later. (Says a lot about voting for our spiritual leaders.) Pilate finally sentences Jesus to the excruciatingly painful death of crucifixion.
The “via delorosa” or the road of suffering for Jesus begins, 6 hours of horrible pain is endured, darkness descends, and the curtain that separates the innermost part of the temple called the holy of holies where God’s presence dwells is torn. From the disciples perspective, the light of the world that they have followed for 3 years has been snuffed out.
Following Jesus Through Dark Times
Are you walking by sight or walking by faith in the Son of God?
There is an old adage that we use quite often. People say, “there is a light at the end of the tunnel”. When we see that light, we walk towards it. Darkness can mean confinement, confusion, danger, loss, and struggle. On the other hand, light can mean freedom, clarity, safety, new beginnings, and ease.
On Good Friday, Jesus modeled that sometimes God’s best path is the path that leads into dark times. He shows that sometimes the best choice is not the easy choice. We want to cut and run from these hard times thinking that it obviously cannot be good when we have to face our pain or go someplace where we cannot see what is ahead. However this is not always the case. Just as the Apostle Paul taught us in 2 Cor. 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
The Christian journey will always be a walk of faith. It will be one that is lived with its confidence in that for which we hope, and assurance of the things we cannot see. (Heb. 11:1)
Jesus was mocked, humiliated through the streets of the city and among the people He dearly loved. He ended up with nails in His hands and feet, raised up to the skies on a symbol of humiliation for all to see. He could have avoided all of this with just a word. He could have plead insane. He could have denied who He was. Instead, He faced the darkness because he knew that is where death lived, and instead of running away from it, He fearlessly walked right into it because He knew it had to be conquered.
Good Friday Prayer
Lord I want to take light to this dark world. When I see your example of taking the light into the very darkness of death, I am encouraged. If you can take light into the very depth of death, then you can bring light to my own dark times. I invite you into the dark areas of my life.
Good Friday Reflection
Is there an area of darkness in your life, family, or community that you have not allowed Jesus to bring His light into? Is there a dark tunnel that you have been trying to avoid, even though you know it is the best choice? Let Him be the light of your world.