St Matthew 27: 32 - 44
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
We come to Good Friday. The insults and horrors are poured upon Jesus. So why is this day called “Good”? In the ancient Church, it was probably called “God’s Friday”… the Friday when God sent his Son to be crucified and died. Today we call this day “Good” because we know the rest of the story. The crucifixion and death of Jesus didn’t end on this day. We know that on Sunday, Jesus had risen from the dead. The Resurrection…. A time of joy and peace in believing. Christ our Redeemer. Christ our Deliverer. Christ our Saviour.
Prayer: Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world. Hear our prayer. Lamb of God by Your humble birth and teachings, You came into our hearts with love. Lamb of God, by Your agony on the cross, You came into our hearts with compassion for others. Lamb of God, by Your wounds and Your death, You strengthen us for Your work in this world. As You hung on the cross we know that Your tears soothe our pain and grief. As Your body was broken and Your blood poured out we know that it was a reminder of Your resurrection and forgiveness of our sins. Thanks be to God. Amen.