Lent Devotions 2012: Friday 6th April

GOOD FRIDAY

“Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this, he breathed his last.” Luke 23:46

Good Friday was a day of distinctive sounds.

The splash of water as Pilate washed his hands and sent Jesus off to be crucified. The crack of the whip which tore into the flesh of Jesus Christ as He was scourged by the Roman soldier. The thud of the hammer hitting the nails that pierced Jesus’ flesh before being sunk deeply into the wood of the cross. The loud derisive shrieks of the crowd who mocked a dying Jesus and called for His blood. The silence of the universe for three hours as Jesus suffered the pangs of hell in our place. The rip of the Temple curtain announcing that access to God was now possible through the One whose once-for-all sacrifice has accomplished forgiveness and peace with God.

But the most distinctive sound of all on that Good Friday was the voice of Jesus Christ, God’s Suffering Servant. Luke informs us that Jesus “cried out with a loud voice”. This was no dying whimper or whisper. No, it was a proclamation; an announcement. Everyone on earth and in heaven was summoned to pay attention. God’s herald had a victory to proclaim.

“Father”: the God who had forsaken Him was once again His Father; His ABBA; His daddy.

“Into Your hands”: the strong, loving hands of the Father will bring His Son, even, through death. Deuteronomy 33:27 says “and underneath are the everlasting arms” of God who will catch us no matter how far down we fall. Even in death Jesus would not let go of His Father’s hand.

“I commit my spirit”: this is a quotation from Psalm 31:5. With this declaration, Jesus concludes His mission to seek and save the lost. He had prayed that God’s will would be done, and now through His death on the cross in our place as our sacrifice, God’s will was done.

On this Good Friday, let all who have ears listen. Listen to the victory cry of the dying Jesus Christ.

Almighty God, graciously behold this Your family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men to suffer death upon the cross; through that same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.