Audio Reflection with Jon Berry:
Yesterday we looked at seeking forgiveness for letting people down, asking God to help us to forgive those who have let us down and asking God to help us to remain faithful to our loved ones. Betrayal can really hurt; Jesus knows, He lived it.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.
25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the Jews.
27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.  [a] 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
The Death of Jesus
33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)
35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,[c] he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph,[d] and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
The Choice of Love
I was watching the DC Legends of Tomorrow TV programme last year, and the crew had travelled in time to the middle of World War II. An old man was on a battlefield with a younger man. To cut a long story short, a gun was fired and the younger man threw himself in front of the old man and took the bullet meant for the older man. As the older man held the dying younger man in his arms, the older man said, ‘Why did you do that, I’m old and have had my life.’ The younger man smiled up at him and said, ‘I did it because I love you’. He then died. This moment had a big impact on me. The younger man’s sacrifice was not out of duty, or obligation or even due to the importance of the old man… it was out of love.
Jesus said in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down his life for one’s friends.”
Whoever you are, whatever you have done, will do or won’t do… Jesus didn’t die on the cross because He had to or out of a sense of duty. No, Jesus died on the cross for you because He loves you. He went through the humiliation, the pain and suffering, hanging nailed to a cross for 6 hours because He wanted to take that bullet for you, to suffer unimaginable pain so you didn’t have to.
The Cross on Good Friday was the integral moment of Jesus’ journey. On the cross Jesus displayed all the qualities that we have journeyed with and to this week, displayed in a profound and amazing way:
Jesus made the biggest impact ever on the cross at Golgotha (Monday)
Answered the unanswerable question about what can be done about our sin? (Tuesday)
Jesus’ actions spoke louder than any words (Wednesday)
Jesus forgave those who betrayed Him and put Him on the cross by dying for their sins (Thursday)
Jesus chose to go to the cross because He loves you (Friday)
Today we remember the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for us all. Are there things you can sacrifice in order to show His love to those you will encounter over this Easter weekend?
Thank you that You love me; that You gave up Your life and suffered greatly out of love for me. As I pray Lord, I am full of gratitude for who You are and what You did for me that day. Help me to make sacrifices in my life to show Your love to others I meet.
In Your name I pray Lord Jesus