Have you ever wondered what it might have been like, all those thousands of years ago, on that first Good Friday? If you somehow could step back in time, where do you think you would have been?
Do you see yourself walking through the narrow city walls, or up that dusty rise, or can you imagine standing beneath the three crosses on Calvary’s Hill?
When you and I wake up today, on this Good Friday, we have the advantage of looking back through time, where many of the events of that day are written down in Scripture. We have the opportunity to see some of the first hand accounts that give us a window into the happenings surrounding Christ’s crucifixion and how it affected those in the crowd.
Some in the crowd that Good Friday morning were followers, some were mockers, some were guards, some were antagonist and accusers. They were certainly an eclectic group. But together, they made up a gathering that was to witness a moment in history like no other.
Can you allow yourself a second to imagine being part of that group on that day? Where would you have been among the masses, and what do you think you would have been doing?
I could imagine being somewhat in shock, partly because the one I was following was so badly beaten and He wasn’t even putting up a fight. In fact He seemed to be resigned to what He knew awaited Him. (Luke 23:8-25) (Matt 27:11-31)
Events were happening so fast, so unexpectedly, it was a surreal situation. Watching the slow and tremendously painful walk on the road to His final destination was grueling. The agony of the soul was so deep because this was not what most of his followers expected to happen to the one called teacher and Lord. Yet, even in his agony scripture allows us to see our Savior’s concern:
“A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “ Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves for your children.” (Luke 23:27-28)
While literally dying on a cross, in extreme pain and agony, Christ was still concerned with the souls hanging next to Him.
“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. (Luke 23:32) One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)
For the one man, who was showing shame, regret and fear for God, Christ accepted him and his choice to be forgiven. Yet at the same time, He did not take away the other man’s choice. The man on one side accepted Christ’s gift of life, the other did not.
The rest of this account occurs in (Luke 23:44-46).
“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining.” And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
When he had said this, he breathed his last.”
Where are you now? Are you part of the thinning crowd, or have you gone home in disillusionment? Would you have missed the most astounding event in all of history?
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightening, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here: he has risen, just as he said. (Matt 28:1-6)
Where are you on THIS Good Friday?
Are you Rejoicing in a Risen Savior?
Come Sunday Morning The Stone was Rolled Away!