Walking with Jesus during his last week on earth
Good Friday – Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, death and burial
Written by William Mwaura, Chadwell Heath Baptist Church
Good Friday is the most difficult day for Jesus during the Passion Week. His journey turned treacherous and extremely painful in the hours leading to his death. Judas Iscariot, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus, was overcome with remorse and hanged himself early Friday morning.
Meanwhile, before the third hour (9 a.m.), Jesus endured the shame of false accusations, condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment. After multiple unlawful trials, he was sentenced to death by crucifixion, one of the most horrible and disgraceful methods of capital punishment known at the time.
Before Christ was led away, soldiers spit on him, tormented and mocked him, and pierced him with a crown of thorns. Then Jesus carried his own cross to Calvary where, again, he was mocked and insulted as Roman soldiers nailed him to the wooden cross.
Jesus spoke seven final statements from the cross. His first words were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34, NIV). His last words were, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46, NIV). Then, about the ninth hour (3p.m.) Jesus breathed his last and died. By 6p.m. Friday evening, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb.
As Jesus gave up His spirit, the curtain or veil of the Temple separated the Holy of Holies (inhabited by the presence of God) from the rest of the Temple. Only the high priest could enter there once a year, with the sacrificial offering for the sins of all the people. When Christ died and the curtain was torn from top to bottom, this symbolised the destruction of the barrier between God and man. The way was opened up through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. His death provided the complete sacrifice for sin so that now all people, through Christ, can approach the throne of grace.
Jesus, we thank you for paying the debt of my sin on the cross. Your death has opened the way to God the father for everyone of us. Now anyone who calls on your Name is saved and set free from all sins and becomes a child of God, our Heavenly Father.
In Christ alone! – who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.