Jesus’ life ended in great pain and in humiliation. He was hung naked in public view. He was despised and rejected by the world. He was separated from his Father.
Jesus’ death was unfair. But not pointless. Through His scars we can find healing. Through that healing we too can offer comfort to others who are hurting.
Jesus was condemned to death by the Jewish authorities.
None of the Gospel writers play on the horror and pain of crucifixion.
They tell us how the crowds who had welcomed Jesus just a few days ago, with shouts of “Hosanna” now cry “Crucify him”.
Pontius Pilate, who knows Jesus is innocent, washes his hands of him and, to avoid trouble, listens to the clamour of the crowd and orders Jesus to be executed. Soldiers led Jesus outside the walls of Jerusalem to Golgotha, which means “the place of the skull”.
Jesus was mocked by the Roman soldiers, who crowned him with thorns, spat at him and then they nailed him to the cross and fastened a notice to it that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” While they waited for him to die, the soldiers cast dice to see which one of them could have Jesus’ robe for themselves. When Jesus became thirsty they offered him a sponge soaked in vinegar. Throughout the events of Good Friday Jesus says very little, Luke however records two wonderful things Jesus said from the cross.
Firstly Jesus prayed as they crucified him: “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
Later he turns to one of those crucified beside him, who acknowledges he is guilty and Jesus is innocent. This man asks Jesus to remember him. Jesus says: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”.
When Jesus dies at three o’clock that day, he does so with a shout of triumph, “It is finished” and commends his spirit to his heavenly Father.
The cross becomes the place where evil throws all it can at Jesus and he meets it with forgiveness and love. Because Jesus, suffered and died as one of us, but rose again, the cross is a sign of hope for anyone who is suffering.
On the cross God shows us how much he loves us.
As Jesus himself said as he foretold his death:
“I when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all me to myself”.
Jesus, I thank you that when I am feeling hurt, even broken,
that I will find healing in your scars.