TITLE: AWAY WITH THIS MAN!
By Missey Butler
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Those were the very words, so vehemently shouted by the assembly as they stood before Pontius Pilot on that day… the day we have all come to know as Good Friday.
It almost seems like a sacrilege to refer to the darkest day of mankind as somehow being good. Yet, even the saddest commemoration reminds us that in the face of sin, our goodness avails nothing.
Only “One” is good, and his name is Jesus Christ, the lamb who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29).
Every Good Friday, the Christian world fixes her gaze upon the Cross at Mt. Calvary. Each one trying to understand the immeasurable cost that Jesus paid in order to win our redemption… our reconciliation to the Father.
It is the one day, where a holy silence is quietly revered deep within the human heart all over the world. Mass is not held in any church or cathedral, the organs are silent, all ornaments are cleared from the altars and the candles are snuffed out. The cross is solemnly shrouded in a black veil.
Although our emphasis on this day is to focus on the death of Jesus Christ, it is not the mode of a funeral liturgy that we celebrate. Instead, we approach this day with thankful hearts, because we know that the death we are venerating was not the end of the story…not by a long shot. As many can testify, we read the last chapter…we know how the story ends!
The scene is an ominous one. The ninth hour darkly approaches, as Jesus labors to inhale what will prove to be his last breath, His ebbing Spirit rushes out with one last cry…
“IT IS FINISHED!”
The sky, responding to what it sees, begins to blacken and shamefully cover the earth, as the ground violently quakes while the sacred form of a tortured man, now suspended between heaven and earth, suddenly becomes very still. The moment is a Holy one.
Within the Temple, a loud “tearing” sound is heard, all eyes watch while the veil dramatically rips from the top to the bottom. At that very moment, the divine scales of justice dramatically “tip” in favor of man, as he is awarded the honor of now being granted entrance into the very Holy of Holies…the Presence of God.
This awesome and gloriously display, triumphantly symbolized that “the way” had been opened, the offering of the spotless lamb had been accepted, and you and I, and all of mankind had been granted divine access to the Living God.
Hallelujah! All Glory to the Savior!
So, while our hearts are heavy because Jesus had to die this day… and in this way, we are filled with awe and overwhelmed with inexpressible joy, at the display of pure love that God so graciously poured out upon “all” humanity.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.
What better name for this day than… Good Friday.
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