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.
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, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’
What on earth is going on? Throughout the Brexit debate (remember that?) what we saw endlessly on television left us wondering what was really going on behind the closed doors of government. This unprecedented time of worldwide Coronavirus pandemic likewise leaves us wondering, ‘What on earth is going on?’ History is always being written as we breathe each breath but some periods of history take time to weigh up and distil. How do we begin to come to terms with all that has happened globally in the past few weeks?
As the crowd watched the life of this local celebrity Jesus of Nazareth slip away on the cross, they had no capacity to know what was really going on. And even though we now know that on the cross He was bearing the full weight of our sin and the full weight of the wrath of God against sin how can we even begin to understand that? That the eternal Son of God should somehow become a curse for us and feel abandoned, forsaken by the Father is a mystery too deep for any of us to fathom.
All we can do is stand in wonder, with head bowed and say,
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood
Sealed my pardon with His blood
Hallelujah , What a Saviour.
CCLI Song # 6545578 Lloyd Larson | Philip Paul Bliss © Words: Public Domain
The way is opened to the Holy place of God and the cross is the only gateway. On this Good Friday will we come to God, by way of Christ’s cross, surrender to Him and worship Him.
Lord God, I cannot even begin to grasp the wonder of what Jesus did for me on the cross as the sin-bearer and atoning sacrifice. May I simply and humbly come, bow the knee, confess my sin and trust in Him alone for salvation. ‘..wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.’ Ps. 51:7b Thank you precious Lord. AMEN