The Crucifixion and Good Friday
How shallow we are when it comes to the suffering of our Lord. No one knows what that agony was like even though it has been portrayed on stage and in theater. Hollywood tried to show us the depth of it in Passion of the Christ and now the production, The Bible, tries to relive it again.
The person playing the part of Jesus Christ is nothing like I would imagine Christ to have been. I did not want to see a handsome model, but a man who looked very much like any Jew would look from that area of the world. For some people,however, who do not know the Bible or the Gospel and would not read the Bible , this dramatizations may be a good thing. We should remember that this excruciating death is not entertainment. Who could be entertained by such an event? It should not be treated like any other story. It is much more than that.
For me the death of Christ and His resurrection is very personal. I want to simply sense His presence and to know that what He did is really unimaginable. Dying on a cross with nails in the hands and feet would have been so awful that it can never really be understood. Crucifixion was a typical execution by the Romans of the day. Only those who have experienced it really know the true meaning. The closest to understanding may be the martyrs, who gave everything for their faith. Many were tortured and burned at the stake. They understood His suffering.
For Jesus, it was not only the dying that He knew He had to face. He also knew that for that time, He would be separated totally from his Father in Heaven. This is why He cried out, “Why have You forsaken me?”
The Christian church around the world observe the day of crucifixion in different ways. In the USA, the day is called Good Friday. In Ireland and Germany it’s called Black Friday; in Romania and Croatia it’s called Big Friday; in Norway it’s referred to as Long Friday and in Spanish-speaking countries it’s Holy Friday; and in Brazil it’s Passion of Christ Friday.
All of these terms seem better than “Good Friday” since there seems to be nothing good about the Son of God dying. Nevertheless, the term “good” could also project what was about to happen just three days later….the rising from the dead and what resurrection means to all of us who will one day also die….a looking forward to that same resurrection.
This day is also shown differently within the church sanctuaries as some place black drapes over statues. It is time also to go to each station of the cross to remember Christ carrying His cross to Calvary. It is a quiet, reflective time of prayer to contemplate what our Saviour has done for us.
Below is some music to help in prayer as we come to the close of this special day.
(Click to play and read the words being sung below:)
Behold the wounds in Jesus’ hands, The marks upon His side, Then ponder who He meant to save When on the cross He died. We cannot see the love of God Which saves us from the fall, Yet know that Christ from wood and nails Built mansions for us all.
Behold the outstretched hands of Christ Our God, who came to save, Whose love and grace redeems ours souls And lifts us from the grave. Though bruised and battered as we stray His guiding hands caress, He washes and anoints with oil Then in His arms we rest.
Behold the wounds in Jesus’ hands, Look to your Lord and live He yearns to bless you with His love And all your sins forgive. Oh empty is the heart of man When it is filled with sin. Come open wide your broken heart And let your Savior in.
Behold His wounded hands and feet! Come touch and see and feel The wounds and marks that you may know His love for you is real. Then as you fall to worship Him and wash His feet in tears Your Savior takes you in His arms And quiets all your fears.
Your Savior takes you in His arms And quiets all your fears.