|Cleveland Prayer Group Website|
Thoughts for Good Friday
Today a great portion of the world come to the feet of the Cross. The four gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) provides different perspectives of the crucifixion. But they shared the conclusion that the overall pattern of Jesus’ life was unexplainable and He was the God Incarnate.
The Church calendar brought the event to a climax to the faithful, through its readings, mainly in this Lenten period. He was fulfilling the prophecies. He was living the life of unparalleled wisdom and character. Jesus performed miracles of physical healing. He raised the dead daughter of a religious leader (Mt. 9:18-26), a widow’s son (Lk. 7:11-15) an his own friend named Lazarus (Jn.11:1-44). These happenings brought into the minds of the people that He was the expected Messiah, the son of David. People praised the Lord with hosanna’s on Sunday. This made a cause to grow the jealousy in the mind of the Jewish leaders. He was sentenced to death by crucifixion for claiming to be the King and God of the Jews.
Only after His death and resurrection, the followers of Jesus saw His willingness to die in the light of a comment made by his forerunner. Three years earlier they heard a rugged prophet of the wilderness, known as John the baptizer, say about Jesus 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world' (Jn.1:29). Jesus saw Himself as a sacrificial lamb. As per our Liturgical prayers, ‘In His graciousness He wished to bend His head before the dust, the work of His hands’. For thousands of years the religious law of Israel had been requiring the death of innocent animals on altars of sacrifice. The mysterious statements of Jewish prophets referred to a Messiah who would Himself bear the sin of fallen humanity. Yet the meaning of a suffering Messiah (Gen.3:15; Is.53; Dan.9:26; Zech.12:10) would remain a mystery until after the death of Jesus.
According to hundreds of eye witnesses, Jesus died on the Cross and the third day, He left the Tomb alive. The biblical record tells us that Jesus was seen alive by more than 500 people after His death. Still the Holy land is the historical evidence of life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May the meditations at His Cross and the joy of His Resurrection be a blessing to all.
Fr.John Thomas Alummoottil
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