Summary: Good Friday Sermon - looks at Christs Passion - descriptive went well in Easter service.
It is finished. the passion behind Good Friday
The rooster had crowed three times.
The guilt of Peter and the scattered disciples including the treacherous Judas left a void.
In this void - Jesus had stood alone before his accusers.
Alone to face their sneering lies and brutal blows.
Cruel whips, Crowns of thorns, rivlets of blood, and closed fists
Mocking Jewish leaders and a troubled Roman Governor influenced by a dreaming wife and a roaring crowd had cleaned his hands in the dirtiest act in human history.
Pilates expediency and the Pharisees treachery had paved a path to a cross.
It was along this path that Jesus of Nazereth, son of God, now walked.
Among the bustle of a city bulging with Passover pilgrims the crucifixion procession now made it’s halting way.
The hardened Roman centurian riding along disdainful and aloof – scornful alike of child or cripple who might be in his way.
Now he who had had pity on the weak the sick the broken and powerless now saw them swept aside by legionaires, Legionaires, hardened by training and vicious campaigns, who treated people as obstacles, they had swords that they wouldn’t hesitate to use in their impatience to complete this tiresome task.
Compasssionate as he was all of Jesus’ attention was on the heavy beam that was being born on his shoulders.
The steady impatient – clanking march of the legionaires contrasted with the stumbling, pitiful stagger of the prisoners rushing on to their painful death. Only a pool of despair and darkness awaited them. Death would be a relief,
There were those who stared in disbelief and powerlessness on this procession – Days before in celbration they had welcomed the prisoner into the city – some had seen or received his healing touch and others had looked into those eyes of love and saw only love and yet here he was carrying the burden of cities hatred.
His scourged body could take no more and he stumbled while soldiers cursed and women gasped and a man called Simon from a place called Cyrene was dragged from the obscurity of the pilgim crowd to carry the Nazarene’s cross.
A few minutes before he had been a lonely pilgrim quietly approaching the Holy City.
Now he was walking in the midst of a execution parade – an unwilling participant but who would dare resist –
The destination was pain and then death and the procession now wound it’s way towards it.
Some with the fatal attraction of a moth attracted to a fire – followed more by compulsion that desire and Jesus whose life had so greatly blessed so many staggered on assigned to death with the thieves.
So they came to Calvary, a hill shaped like a skull, outside the city gate – bleak with the hush of death hovering over it.
With a ruthless efficiency oblivious to the screams of the prisoners the Romans went about their work – the thud of the hammer rising in pitch with the screams – reverberating around the place of death.
The hardened set their jaws – the indifferent considered their evenings entertainment and the centurian began to wonder what they were doing. Those who knew wiped tears from red eyes and looked powerlessly at the man on the cross.
The crosses were hoisted to the sky and the silence that precedes death hung uncomfortably over the gathered throng.
The uncomfortable silence prompted an unease that turned on Jesus.
"He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One."
The soldiers having gambled for the clothes and impatient for death now turned on the prisoner.
The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don’t you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. "
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 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.