The audio file of this reflection can be found at https://ucashford.podbean.com
This is the fifth reflection in this series for Holy Week and a very different day. A day called ‘Good’ but one that marks the crucifixion and death of Jesus…good only because of what it did for us and what it showed us of the depth of God’s love through self-emptying and self-sacrifice.
A prayer for Good Friday: (taken from the Methodist Worship Book, pg 255)
Gracious and eternal God,
look with mercy on this your family,
for which our Lord Jesus Christ
was content to be betrayed
and given up into the hands of sinners
and to suffer death upon the cross;
who is alive and glorified with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. AMEN.
and then the account of the Passion of our Lord Jesus in the gospel of JOHN 18:1 through to 19:42
You may wish to read these through slowly today and pause for quiet reflection between each passage.
For today, I think we let the scriptures speak for themselves and so I borrow another version of the account of Jesus’ death, as the gospel of Mark records it:[MARK 15:33-39]
‘When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who was stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
Another prayer to close: (MWB pg 264)
Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection
of your Son Jesus Christ,
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.