Sharing Our Faith Together

Reflections Through The Passion - Good Friday

by Andy Cokayne and Peter Blount 2 April 2021

You are welcome to join us for a live reflection for Good Friday on Zoom at 11.00hrs BST using the following details - Meeting ID: 880 7815 1024 Passcode: 023619

Dial by your location +44 203 051 2874 United Kingdom +44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom. Please note you may incur call charges.

We commence our time together this morning with a hymn that expresses the depth of God’s love for us, made known in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour – ‘How deep the Father's love for us.

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Following betrayal, arrest, desertion, false trials, denial, condemnation, beatings and mockery, Jesus was required to carry his cross to “The place of the Skull”, where he was crucified with two other prisoners.

This morning as we reflect on Jesus’ crucifixion, we are going to consider the seven things spoken by Jesus from the cross. These seven sayings form part of a Christian meditation that is often used during LentHoly Week and Good Friday. We would encourage you to consider what each phrase or saying means to you this Good Friday.

1. Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing. 
Luke 23 v 23-24
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” 

This first saying of Jesus on the cross is traditionally called "The Word of Forgiveness" It is interpreted as Jesus' prayer for forgiveness for the Roman soldiers who were crucifying him and all others who were involved in his crucifixion. 

2. Today you will be with me in paradise.
Luke 23 v 39-43
One of the criminals who hung their hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” 

This saying is traditionally called "The Word of Salvation". According to Luke's Gospel, Jesus was crucified between two thieves, one of whom supports Jesus' innocence and asks him to remember him when he comes into his kingdom. 

3. Dear woman here is your son, Here is your mother. 
John 19 v 25-27
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, he said to his mother, “Dear woman here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

This statement is traditionally called "The Word of Relationship" and in it Jesus entrusts Mary, his mother, into the care of "the disciple whom Jesus loved".

4. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 
Matthew 27 v 45-46
From the sixth hour until the nineth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

This is the only saying which appears in more than one Gospel, and is a quote from Psalm 22 v1 or Psalm 42 v9, and is traditionally called "The Word of Abandonment" Some understand the cry as that of one who was truly human and who felt forsaken. Put to death by his foes, very largely deserted by his friends, he may have felt also deserted by God his Father. 

5. I am thirsty.
John 19 v 28
Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.

This statement is traditionally called "The Word of Distress" and is interpreted by John as fulfilment of the prophecy given in Psalm 69 v21, "... and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink, hence John includes the comment "to fulfill the scriptures". It could also refer to Psalm 22 v15 “My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.” 

6. It is finished.
John 19 v 30
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

This statement is traditionally called "The Word of Triumph" and is interpreted as the announcement of the end of the earthly life of Jesus, in anticipation for the Resurrection. 

7. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
Luke 23 v 44-46
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. For the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

This saying from Psalm 31:5, is an announcement not a request, is traditionally called "The Word of Reunion" and is interpreted as the proclamation of Jesus joining God the Father in Heaven. 

This has been termed a model of prayer for everyone when afraid, sick, or facing one's own death. It says in effect: 
I commit myself to you, O God. In my living and in my dying, in the good times and in the bad, whatever I am and have, I place in your hands, O God, for your safekeeping. 

Prayers Through The Passion
Heavenly Father, as we consider the tremendous unfathomable sacrifice that you and your Son made on that first Good Friday. That He went through that pain, degradation, and separation for each one of us. Help us never lose sight of what He went through, and never forget the price that was paid, so that we could know forgiveness. May each of us know the burden of our sin taken away, and experience for ourselves the joy and release that it brings. Through Jesus Christ our Saviour we pray. 


We conclude our time together this morning with a hymn that encourages us to look at the cross of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour – ‘When I survey the wondrous cross.’

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To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – to him be glory and power for ever and ever.