FRIDAY, THE PASCHAL TRIDUUM
Is 52:13–53:12; Ps 31:2,6,12-13,15-17,25; Heb 4:14-16; 5: 7-9; Jn 18:1-19:42
THE LAST TESTAMENT OF LOVE
Today on Good Friday, we remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, because of his love for humanity. The liturgical service revolves around the Passion of Christ. Let us try to reflect on the seven last words of Jesus from the Cross. Together, these sayings create a powerful message from our Savior’s heart during the hours of his greatest personal agony. They reveal Jesus’ innermost feelings as he poured out his life for us.
Forgiveness: While Jesus was nailed to the cross, he prayed: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing” (Lk 23:34). As we journey with Jesus in his redemptive work on the cross, His words echo in our hearts today. Jesus invites us to ponder the question, “What are we doing?”
Hope: Today you will be with me in paradise (Lk 23:43). It is not a Jew or a religious leader that asks Jesus for forgiveness, but a convicted thief on the cross. What has the thief done to deserve forgiveness? He merely recognizes Jesus as the Son of God and asks for forgiveness. In God’s kingdom, we see that the last are first.
Care: During his agony on the cross, Jesus sees two people, Mary and John, and calls them. Whether connected by DNA or not, our “families” are connected by a long history, treasured memories, and shared experiences. He reimagines their relationship beyond the genetic bond. Through Christ, people of different experiences and cultures are united as brothers and sisters. Therefore let us be concerned about each other and help and encourage in all ways possible.
Loneliness: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk 15:34). That was a supreme moment of loneliness, so dark and deep that Jesus experienced. It was on the cross the moment he became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). In that incomprehensibly lonely moment, he felt forsaken by his Father (Mt 27:46) and all those he loved. Jesus who experienced this pain will not allow us to suffer therefore during our loneliness. Jesus understands our pain. So “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help” with every lonely need (Heb 4:16).
Suffering: “I am thirsty” (Jn 19:28). In his compassion, Christ suffered for us. When we see someone in need hungering for compassion, thirsting to be loved we can confidently minister to them from the well of grace and abundant love we have received from Christ. Is there someone to whom we can offer a cup of compassion? If possible let’s do it today, for tomorrow may not be our day.
Triumph: “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). Jesus’ humility rings in his words. He announced, for all to hear, “It is finished.” from the cross, He means death has lost its battle, sin no longer has power and humanity has forever been drawn into the Father’s loving arms. In what ways have we seen God’s redemptive work in our life? Let’s take a moment to thank Jesus for his sacrifice to save all humankind.
Reunion: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last (Lk 23:46). Despite all that had happened, that spoke of his unwavering trust that God the Father was still good and still trustworthy. It was a moment of complete surrender, even as Jesus entered into our fallen darkness, he chose to believe in love rather than doubt. When life seems anything but fair, help us to believe that you really are that good and in return put our complete trust in your goodness.
God is love, and Jesus’ ministry showed what love is. He gave himself for us. He preached his last sermon by both word and example. In his last seven words, he affirms God’s greatness and glory. All that had happened was for our salvation. Let us remember this truth and work hard to carry out God’s plan in our lives. As we represent Christ to different people at different places may we be able to inspire others to have some qualities of Christ in our lives for the same grace let us pray
Response: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit!
Copyright ©2023 ©Springs of Living Water http://springs.carmelmedia.in