Reflection on the Gospel of John 18:1-19:42: Good Friday, April 7 2023

Collect for Good Friday Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus said “Forgive them, Father! They do not know what they are doing.” In today’s world the they who do not know what they do, are those who can blame other’s easily, blame those who make their lives miserable and not take responsibility for their own actions. And yet where are we when Jesus’ kingdom infringes on ours? On our peace and our order? On our prosperity and our security? Where are we when the victims of our peace, cry for justice? When those left behind by our society call for compassion? When the hungry and the lonely beg us to share our prosperity, our security, our power? Where are we when Christ is crucified among us? Are we among those the they who do not know what they are doing? and then, we ask: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Today as we watch the world unfold before us and the people of Ukraine are asking: my God why are you forsaking us? How do we answer this, especially too our younger children? We should then become part of the solution by supporting those in need and offering as much help and support as possible.

It is easy to blame others, but we don’t like feeling we have been forsaken. In our lives how many times have we thought this. How many times have we felt that God has abandoned us? How many times do we feel that he has forgotten us when he lets a close family member die, let them suffer before they die? We wonder how in his passion he can let this happen. How did he let his only son be crucified on the cross, to suffer a horrible death, to be humiliated in front of the world as he died, and His father did not come and save Him? The father had a plan for Jesus as he has for us. A plan we really don’t understand, but a plan that he knows will move us forward maybe not in this world, but in the world to come. We look at the world and see violence, corruption, death, war and then we wonder, where is our God, the God of love, the God of passion, how does he let this happen as he did allow the death of his son Jesus?  Jesus may have suffered but he kept His Faith by saying: “I thirst”, Was it for water to quench his thirst or was it he thirsted to be through with the pain and suffering and to join the Father, a thirst for what was to come, A thirst that he knew would erase all the pain and suffering. That thirst should drive us each day, one that not only satisfies the needs of the body, but the needs of the soul.

As we reflect on the events of that Good Friday over 2000 years ago what are the lessons we should gain, we should know that the they in they know not what they do can be us. The they should be, the they who now understand, and they who have learned to be compassionate and understanding and to help others in their times of need. We should understand that God does not forsake us because he is ignoring us, but he is letting the plan he has for us play out, to test us and prepare us for the glorious things to come. We may not feel it at the moment, but we will. And finally, our thirst should be one that brings us closer to the kingdom of God by wanting to learn and be more like Our Lord and to walk in his footsteps. As we think about Good Friday let us walk in the ways of Jesus, To understand that His suffering was for us each and every one of us. And let us not forsake him as he is our savior. And let us not be the We who know not what they do.

Let us pray: We wait with God on this Good Friday for the day of the Resurrection, the day that brings us all a new beginning, a day that brings love into the world, a day that we all can share in that love. Remember Jesus’s words. “Peace, I give to you” Amen.

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