Fake courts, false testimony, and hardened hearts all come together as Jesus is condemned by the Jewish leaders and sent to Pilate. They hope to see Jesus put to death by the Romans. And although Pilate sees no guilt in Jesus, he gives way to the cries of the crowd, “Crucify him!.” He washes his hands and sends Jesus away to be crucified. Water will not remove his guilt.
Meanwhile, Peter is crushed with grief! He has learned far more about himself than he ever wanted to know. He has denied his master three times! He swore he would die for Jesus, but when under pressure, he chose himself over Jesus. He cries and prays, wondering if he can ever be forgiven.
Judas too feels some regret. He threw the 30 pieces of silver back into the temple and went away and hanged himself. He experienced worldly sorrow, but not true repentance.
Jesus is mocked, abused, and crucified between two thieves. “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing,” Jesus cries out as they cast lots for his clothes. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus bears the wrath due his people’s sin while on the cross. Darkness covers the land as Jesus dies and the temple veil is ripped from top to bottom. “Father into your hands I commend my spirit. It is finished.”
The enemies of Jesus rejoice thinking they are finally rid of this trouble maker. The disciples grieve deeply. To them all hope seems lost. Confusion reigns. The master is dead. The hours pass slowly …
Jesus is laid in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. The Romans post a guard at the request of the Jewish leaders.
In tradition today is called Good Friday, in remembrance of Jesus death on the cross. Take some time to think deeply about Jesus paying the penalty for our sin.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:69-27:66