Hope, walking in grace

What’s So Good About Friday?

John 18-20

It was barely Friday when Judas kissed Jesus in the Garden. Oh, that pretentious kiss. Proof he had given his heart to another.

Soldiers followed close behind Judas.  They just kept coming, rank and file, with their lanterns and swords.  Ready for a hunt. A fight.

There was no fight.

Jesus replied with a simple, “I AM He.” He went away with them.

Most of His closest friends scattered. Peter, once, twice, three times the denyer. He hadn’t believed it could be true. It was too true.

Caiaphas, the priest. Pilate, the Roman governor.  Neither could find a real reason to kill Him. 

But many who had loved Him on Sunday had turned on Him by Friday.

What’s so good about Friday?

They battered Him. Bruised Him. Spat upon Him. And placing a crown of thorns upon His head, driving it into His skin, blood dripping into His face, they mocked Him as King of the Jews.

He was. King of the Jews. King of kings.

That rugged set of beams heavy on His shoulders. Nothing compared to the weight coming.

Dragging Himself and His cross, Jesus journeyed toward the hill of His purpose.

The hammer rang. Once. Twice. Three times. Its vibration lingered in the air.

What’s so good about Friday?

Raised up on that rugged set of wooden beams, Jesus was spread out. Arms opened wide. Just like He lived.

His feet pinned. His heart breaking, but obedient.

Just above His head the sign read King of the Jews. Not once; three times. In every language that might be spoken there at Golgotha on that day.  No matter who you were or where you were from, you could read it clearly: King of The Jews.

This King was for everyone

His mother Mary, the Mary He had changed, and another Mary, watched from the foot of His cross. A trio of Marys who loved Him. And, of course, John, His beloved disciple, was there.

I can’t help but wonder where I might have been. But I’m too sure I know.

They watched until He uttered His last words. Until He surrendered His spirit unto His Father. Until it was finished.

His purpose on that famous hill was complete.

They prepared His mangled body for burial as best they could. That curious leader of the Jews, Nicodemus, brought more than enough myrrh. Another Joseph, not Mary’s Joseph, offered a place to bury Him.

Had Jesus really been the Messiah? Surely. Maybe. But what now?

What’s so good about Friday?

Absolutely nothing and absolutely everything.

With broken hearts and shattered hope, those who loved Jesus couldn’t see anything good.

Not yet.