“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
Revelation 5:12 ESV
Today we remember Jesus Christ at the cross. We remember some of the many foreshadowing prophecies of His coming that were brought through the nation of Israel –
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the Lord ; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. But you, O Lord , do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 18-19 ESV
And we remember the testimony of those who lived and walked alongside this man whose life tore our calendar in two, just like the vail was torn in the temple, symbolizing the veil that once separated us from your Holy Spirit. We remember this Son of Man – who even unbelievers can marvel at His teaching, His life example, His miracles, and His impact upon History. And we remember this Son of God who believers praise and worship in grattitude for His life that teaches us His life and His way, and that fulfills the blameless and perfect sacrifice that bought our freedom. We remember His body, broken for me and you. We remember His blood purred out as evidence of this new covenant.
It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!” The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him. At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!” Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
Mark 15:25-27, 29-39 NLT
Crucified Savior, on this dark day, it seems crass and opportunistic to think of your death as an advantage to me. And yet, we call this Friday good because through your death, my old self is crucified, put to death, buried with you, and no longer rules. Today, I dedicate my life as an offering to you – as the unworthy, filthy rags that I have to offer a righteous and holy God. Thank you for seeing our heart and knowing or humble intentions of gratitude, and for providing the only worthy sacrifice. Amen.