Friday, April 14, 2017
#39 Good Friday by TheHumbleDisciple [Thanks to Matthew Kelley]
“Make no mistake, resistance is your enemy. It will not quietly go away and leave you alone. You have to slay it like a dragon, and you have to slay it anew each day.”
“So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him.” (John 19:17–18)
How has Jesus on the cross inspired you to battle resistance?
Good Friday stands as the most solemn day of the Christian year because our Savior died the voluntary death of God Himself at the hands of man to redeem us from our sins. Good Friday remains the only day of the year on which no Mass is said due to the solemn nature of the story of Christ’s Passion.
The Good Friday narrative explodes on the scene after the giddy, celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
In the short Matthew Kelly version: “On Friday, you got this guy being murdered. This guy who you have placed all of your hope in—you have left everything behind to follow Jesus—and now you see him being nailed to a cross. What did the disciples feel? And what were they thinking? Of course, we know a big part of what they were feeling was fear. They were afraid. They were afraid for their whole lives. They were afraid for what was going happen next. And they were disoriented. What does it feel like to be that disoriented?”
In the longer Biblical narration: During the night, one of the Twelve – Judas betrayed Jesus to arrest. While Jesus was taken before the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, Peter denied him. The following day, the events play out as portrayed in the Stations of the Cross: Jesus was taken before Pilate, sent to Herod, returned to Pilate, mocked and beaten, held as Barabbas is released, crowned with thorns, condemned to death, carried the crushing burden of his cross, told the weeping women of the future, left his image on Veronica’s veil as she comforted him by cleaning his face, excruciatingly crucified between two thieves, forgave those who crucified him, entrusted the Virgin Mary to the beloved disciple, assured the good thief of his salvation, proclaimed his “Seven Last Words”, and cried out and died.
In addition: darkness covered the earth, an earthquake shook the land, the temple veil tore in two, saints of the Old Testament were raised, a soldier pierced Christ's side and blood and water flowed forth, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus went to Pilate to asked for Jesus' body, he was buried in Joseph's own tomb, a guard was set over the tomb to ward off conspiracies of resurrection from a missing body, and Jesus' friends and family grieved at his death
Focus - If Jesus had not beaten resistance, there would be no Easter.
Act - Spend some time in quiet reflection today. If you can, schedule some time during the three o’clock hour, when Jesus died on the cross. As you read today’s Gospel and reflect on Jesus’ passion and death, consider how he can inspire you to battle resistance in your own life.
Good Friday’s Gospel Reading: John 18:1–19:42
Pray - Jesus, may your victory on the cross fill me with the courage to persevere in times of difficulty, and the hope to see beyond the cross to the joy of the Resurrection!