Friday, April 6, 2012

Following Jesus to the Cross - Day 6

Today is now called "Good Friday." On that Friday when Jesus went to the Cross it was anything but good for Him. It was for our good that Jesus went to the Cross but not His good.

It started on Friday with interrogation. Jesus appeared before Pilate, then Herod, and back to Pilate. He was falsely accused and because of the pressure of the religious leaders, Jesus was handed over the the Roman soldiers to be crucified. Listen to the words being shouted by the crowd outside Pilate's headquarters: "Take Him away! Take Him away! Crucify Him! (John 19:15). The same people who one day stood in amazement of His teaching and the miracles that they witnessed at His hand; where now shouting for Jesus to be crucified.

It went from bad to worse. Jesus was taken by the Roman soldiers to be crucified but before the actual crucifixion these soldiers mocked, beat, and totally humiliated Him. Finally they nailed Jesus to the Cross. But instead of Jesus speaking words against the soldiers or against those who had shouted for Him to be crucified; Jesus spoke the following from the cross: "Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34), "Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit" (Luke 23:46), and "It is finished" (John 19:30).

On this Good Friday, may we follow the example of Jesus by laying down our lives for those around us. We do this by not retaliating against those who have spoke evil of us but instead by speaking kindness toward them. We share Jesus' love with them. We go to the Father on their behalf through prayer. We trust all things to the Father. Salvation was purchased by Jesus on the cross not just for us but for all. All includes those who don't look like us, those who don't act like us, those who live in different places, and those who are in our neighborhoods.

Praying Today for:
(1) The Lake O' the Pines community of Crestwood
(2) The State of Mississippi
(3) The Nation of South Korea
(4) The North African & Middle Eastern Peoples throughout the World

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