a Good Friday

Much like last year, the Good Friday service at FaithWorks involved a participation in the stations of the cross. And once again, it was a very meaningful experience. Here are a few things that stood out:

The Politics of the Cross: I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and was struck today by the chief priests uttering the words ‘we have no King but Caesar‘, and the way Jesus was mocked with the title ‘The King of the Jews’. It affirmed the need to stand and declare that Jesus is Lord in a world that often still puts their stock in Caesar.

Isaiah 53: We had the opportunity to read through this passage, and I was struck by it more than ever.

1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors
.

Communion: We ended it by taking communion, and as I took the bread and the juice, I thought of Jesus on the cross and the thirst and pain that he felt, completely abandoned and alone. The sacrament of communion never felt more tangible to me than it did this morning.

To put this experience in context, I read this post by Dan, a reminder that we are to be active participants in these stations rather than emotional observers.

Lauren and I also walked around an old monastery this afternoon and enjoyed the peace of the surroundings. It has been a Good Friday, one of reflection and a call to action.

And now we wait expectantly for Sunday …

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  1. Just stopped by after your blog was suggested after posting an entry. Still learning how wordpress works. I just finished reading Isaiah 54 only a few hours earlier. Beautiful pics. Be blessed.

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