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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Friday, April 6, 2012


What is good about this particular Friday? Our Lord died on this day; why is that good?

God means virtuous, moral, wise and Holy means infinitely good. Therefore we have "The Good Book" and "Good Friday." In the Church we know that Christ’s death on the cross on Good Friday which marks the beginning of salvation for us all.

Among the many meanings of "good" are virtuous, moral, and wise. One of the meanings of the word holy is "infinitely good." From such meanings come the expressions "the Good Book" and "Good Friday."

While we call this Friday Good, we sometimes struggle with the contradiction. "Good Friday" seems a little perverse, until we put it all in Biblical perspective. The long awaited Messiah had been promised down through the ages as recorded in the Old Testament. Along with that promise, came the prophesy—what will happen to the Messiah and what will be happening in history. "Good Friday" is part of the prophesy that came with the promise.

We often want the blessings without the responsibility and sometimes, the suffering that comes with it. Jesus was willing to take on himself all that had to happen because he knew his role in God’s plan.

I have selected a passage from the Gospel of Mark to allow us the privilege of experiencing his day. Please read the entire selection as I have lifted out most but not all verses. Our prayer of thanksgiving for the life and death and resurrection will follow.

Mark 14:53-15:47

53 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law came together. 54 Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.

55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put Him to death, but they did not find any.

61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?"

62 "I am," said Jesus, "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

65b And the guards took Him and beat Him.

66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. "You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus," she said. 68 But he denied it. "I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about," he said, and went out the entryway. 69 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, "This fellow is one of them." 70 Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near to Peter said to Peter, "Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean." 71 He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, "I don’t know this man you’re talking about."

72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will disown Me three times." And he broke down and wept.

Mark 15: 1-47

1 Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate. 2 "Are You the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate. "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.

6 Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.

9 "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.12 "What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.

13 "Crucify him!" they shouted. 14 "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify Him!" 15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed Him over to be crucified.

16 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17 They put a purple robe on Him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on Him. 18 And they began to call out to Him, "Hail, king of the Jews!" 19 Again and again they struck Him on the head with a staff and spit on Him. Falling to their knees, they paid homage to Him. 20 And when they had mocked Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him. Then they led Him out to crucify Him.

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.

27 They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one of His left. Those who passed by hurled insults at Him, shaking their heads and saying, 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 Christ, 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.

33 At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabach-thani?"—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 One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put in on a stick, 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, heard His cry and saw how He died, 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 Joses, 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.

42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that He was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body (think of what that must have entailed), wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where He was laid.

"God our father, holy are you, good to the most extreme. We bow before you and sing our song of love all the long day. We ask for your love to enter and fill us, that we may do your will and live within your kingdom. We thank your precious son Jesus Christ and all he did to fulfill your plan for us all. Because of Jesus, we all can live since he found the door to Heaven, walked through and left it open for all of us to follow. Forgive me when I have seen Holy Week as a beautiful myth or a nice story told and retold until it loses it real significance. To God be the glory and Jesus Christ the king of my heart, in whose name we pray. Amen"

Doris "God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine."
Copyright 2012 Doris Gaines Rapp
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