The mob that hounded Christ from Jerusalem to “the place of a skull” has never been dispersed, but is augmenting yet, as many of the learned men of the world and great men of the world come out from their studies and their laboratories and their palaces, and cry, “Away with this man! Away with him!” The most bitter hostility which many of the learned men of this day exercise in any direction they exercise against Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Saviour of the world.
We may say that on the first Good Friday afternoon was completed that great act by which light conquered darkness and goodness conquered sin. That is the wonder of our Saviour’s crucifixion. There have been victories all over the world, but wherever we look for the victor we expect to find him with his heel upon the neck of the vanquished. The wonder of Good Friday is that the victor lies vanquished by the vanquished one. We have to look deeper into the very heart and essence of things before we can see how real the victory is that thus hides itself under the guise of defeat.
So shall we join the disciples of our Lord, keeping faith in Him in spite of the crucifixion, and making ready, by our loyalty to Him in the days of His darkness, for the time when we shall enter into His triumph in the days of His light.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And the guards cast lots to divide his cloths among themselves.
Then the High Priest, tearing his garments to show his horror, said, “What more evidence do we need? You have just heard his blasphemous words. What is your decision?” They all condemned Jesus, saying, “He must die.” Some of them began to spit on Jesus; and blindfolding him, they struck him and said, “Play the prophet!” And the guards set upon him with blows.
A large crowd of people followed him; among them were women, beating their breasts and grieving for him, but Jesus turned to them and said, “Women of Jerusalem, do not weep for me! Weep rather for yourselves and for your children, for the days are coming when people will say, ‘Happy are the women without child! Happy are those who have not given birth or nursed a child! And they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if this is the lot of the green wood, what will happen to the dry?”
When Judas, the traitor, realized that Jesus had been condemned, he was filled with remorse, and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying an innocent man to death.” They answered, “What does it matter to us? That is your concern.” So throwing down the money in the temple, he went away and hanged himself.
Pilate said, “What is truth?” Pilate then went out to the Jews and said, “I find no crime in this man. Now, according to custom, I must release a prisoner to you at the Passover. With your agreement I will release to you the king of the Jews.”
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