Reliving Good Friday Afternoon
Jesus, bloodied, bruised, beaten beyond recognition is forced to carry the 90 lb cross nearly ¾ of a mile to Golgotha – The Skull. The crowd is loud, pushy. Some revile and mock Him. Others weep openly. Jesus speaks to some of the grieving women, imploring them to pray, not for Him, but for their people against the evil. Roman soldiers, ever vigilant for an uprising, force the spectators back.
At one point Jesus, dehydrated from blood loss, causes the soldiers to fear He won’t live to be crucified, so they force Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for Jesus, up the hill. Without cursing or trying to escape, Jesus endures the nails that secure Him to the cross. In that public place, above a main road, where everyone coming to or leaving Jerusalem can see, He is placed between two thieves.
For hours with arms extended to the sides, His heart pumps hard, His lungs slowly fill with fluid, like drowning. Pushing up against the nails in his feet he gasps for air. Over his head is Pilate’s accusation against the Priests who threatened his political position: THIS IS JESUS, KING OF THE JEWS.
No one seems to get it. The Pharisees, the priests, Pilate, the people – none realize this is Victory
“Father, forgive these Gentile soldiers who act in ignorance.”
“Today, Repentant Believer, we’ll be alive together in paradise.”
“Mom, John the Believer will provide for you in my place. John, my mother is now your mother.”
“My God, My God, don’t turn away. This sin that separates us is not my own.”
“I thirst for My Father’s Presence.”
“My life’s assignment is complete.”
“All-powerful Father, into your competent, restoring hands I entrust myself.”
The Temple Curtain splits.
Fine-twined linen, red, purple, blue, thick and rich with embroidered cherubim separating God’s Holy of Holies from the Holy Place of worship by ordinary men. Yearly the High Priest entered in with atonement for the nation and all Gentiles who were willing to circumcise their hearts to covenant with Yahweh.
Perfect Lamb of God, You took away the sins of the world, once for all, never to be done again. Perfect Highest Priest, You split as if by sword from top to bottom the tick separating veil and revealed a Father God welcoming repentant prodigals made holy by His Son.