Tired of all the bad news

While we can't deny the difficulites for so many people at home and overseas, it's important to take account of the positives, and to spread the Good News. I don't know who said this but; "No-one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side." Blessings..

Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday

At first glance, the cross is THE symbol of failure. Those who were crucified by the Romans were executed as ‘non-persons’ and they were crucified in public so as to de-humanize them even more. Crucifixion was designed to cause maximum pain and agony for the victim.

Jesus was crucified after a long night of being tortured, mocked, humiliated, and a brutal scourging with barbaric instruments made from bone fragments, metal, and chain mail. He carried the instrument of his death, his cross through crowds of people while being kicked, and whipped along the way, and as he fell in exhaustion, he was pulled to his feet to continue.

When they came to the place of the skull, they crucified him along with two criminals on either side of him. As he hangs upon the cross, Jesus is made to look like a fool, one who called himself the King of the Jews. Pontus Pilate, Caesar’s representative in that region who condemned Jesus to death, writes a death-note. The note reads; “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.” It is placed above Jesus’ head as he hangs upon the cross. Again designed to mock him, in a strange way, the Romans, who don’t believe in God, by crowning him with thorns, and placing a staff in his hand, proclaim Jesus a King.

The cross of Christ is to the onlooker a symbol of shame, but looking deeper, it is the ultimate triumph of a loving God who sent his only Son to be our Saviour. Jesus’ death upon the cross is the theatre of redemption where we are all saved from our sinfulness. As we venerate the cross at 3.00 p.m. today in all our churches, we do so knowing that as Jesus says in John’s Gospel "No Greater love can anyone have than to lay down one's life for one's friends." 

The cross of Jesus Christ is evident in a week where we see people bent on mass- murder in Brussels, and so-called Gangland murders on our streets here in Ireland. Lord, we pray that hard hearts will be changed and transformed. However, we also see a heroic man risking his life to save a drowning family in Buncrana. "No greater love..."

"...But we, we thought of him as someone punished, struck by God and brought low.
Yet he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. On him lies a punishment that brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed.

We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and Yahweh burdened him with the sins of all of us. Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers, never opening its mouth..." (Isaiah 53: 5-7)