It was a scene to behold. Only a week before, crowds lined the streets throwing down their jackets and palm fronds hailing the triumphal entry of the Messiah. Now on this day, crowds again lined the streets to watch the travesty of the same man being ingloriously executed. There were no cheers. There was some sadness, but mostly simple disbelief. How could last week’s conquering Hero be marching to His death? It was the price God was willing to pay for those He loved. Make no mistake, Jesus felt every blow, every lash of the whip. He heard every rude and demeaning comment; but, He was now completing the mission for which He left Heaven.
On the cross, Jesus accepted the shame of abuse delivered by those that hated Him. Three things, however, needed wrapping up. He agonized as man’s sin rested on His shoulders. It caused him to be separated from the Father, for the 1st and only time in all eternity. He grieved for those that were killing Him-He interceded to God for their forgiveness. He cared about his Mom, and made sure She was safe; and then, He announced the end–“It is finished!” Jesus died. From there, He was taken down and buried. What had been an amazing life, ended in an earthquake, the temple curtain splitting and the Jesus movement, stopped cold–or so the world thought.
We know different. We know that the crucifixion of Jesus was a somber prelude to the most glorious symphony that was ever to be written. In the coming days, the world would be turned upside down. The utter defeat of man–through sin was about to be erased and the tablets cleared. We, as a race, were about to receive the final piece of the promise a heartbroken God delivered to Adam as He led he and his wife from the Garden of Eden. We all recognize the complete anguish and grief the cross caused that Friday–BUT, the victory that rang from the words “It is Finished” were only starting to reverberate through the bowels of the earth. Soon, they would peal across the sky and into all of history; announcing the beginning of restoration between God and men. Soon, God himself would exalt Jesus to the highest place and give Him the name that is above every name.(Phil 2:9). As the famous preacher Tony Campolo so eloquently put it–“It was Friday, But, Sunday was coming!!!”
God Bless You
As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews…
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[d]
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph,[f] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.