A HOLY WEEK JOURNEY IN ADVERSITY TOWARDS RESILIENCE
HOLY WEEK READING-REFLECTION PLAN
10th April 2020, Good Friday: Mark 15:1-41, Luke 23:13—49 Incomparable Integrity
What is so good about Good Friday? Nothing could be so horrendous than to hear Jesus’ cry of dereliction. Only Matthew and Mark recorded it in their Gospels. You need to hear it afresh. I need to hear it afresh;
“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”
This cry is one of seven phrases Jesus uttered on the cross. You might take this, or any of the other six for repetitive contemplation on this Good Friday.
To the Jew, this was the cry of the accursed. Did the disciples also wrestle with this? Hadn’t Jesus said in the Upper room that even though the disciples would scatter and leave Him alone, He is not alone because the Father is with Him (John 16:32)? So, where is the Father now?
From an ego-centric point of view, Jesus could have called into account. He could have called down angels. They were at His birth. They sprang into exuberant, euphoric, song of Gloria In Excelsis Deo when the word was given. Surely, they were waiting too at the Garden of Gethsemane, at the very least 12 legions of them. That’s 72,000 troops. Not mere mortal beings, but immortal angelic might. Jesus, the Son of God knows the power that He wields. Overwhelming force is the doctrine of military power. Not so with Jesus. The Son of Man is not like dictators and despots of humankind. He wins the war against the power of darkness by way of obedience and non-violence. So what if there’s a miscarriage of justice? After all, hit a person with pain, and he/she will give anything to be released from it. Would Jesus have fared any better?
Championing a cause is easy when the going is good, when one has had a good night’s sleep, when the opposition is deflectable, when the body and mind are well, when our network is secure, and when help is at the press of a button away. But when you are deprived of sleep, mentally and physically abused, the object of a clear miscarriage of justice, surrounded not by friends, but violent hostile mockers, you might be tempted to wish for some reprieve? Give up your stand? Jesus stumbled, fell, but He never faltered. If Jesus were a mere mortal, it would have been remarkable. But Jesus is the Son of God. The legions of His angelic hosts above, with all the power of His command adored Him. Jesus had this trump card. Just say the word, and His ordeal would be over, and His persecutors wiped out.
But the word never came. Jesus was crucified. Just as He said He would be. Just as God’s plan decreed it. For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son. The word for release never came. And the Son, the Word became flesh came through. What a remarkable God-Man. Incomparable integrity!
Ultimately, the words that mattered for all eternity, the words that brought forgiveness and salvation: Father forgive them for they know not what they do … It is finished!” I hope you’re not tired of reading this same Grim Friday story? Because it will be told through all eternity – that there was the day when Grim Friday became Good Friday. Worthy is the Lion who became the Lamb! And Yes! The Lion will roar again. Amen! Amen! Amen!
Adapted John Chong Ser Choon
Q1. Has there been a breaking point in your life? If not, please take time to think what might be your breaking point(s)?
Q2. Take stock of your life – Is there a worst enemy in your life, or someone you disrespect or secretly despise – Pause to remember him/her Christ died to save …
Write out your responses – Take time to pray about these and anything else the Lord may lay upon your heart