Luke 23:44-4644 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Does “Good Friday” confuse you a little? Children often ask how a man is executed on a cross and we can call it “good.” Of course I answer with the standard Easter message and all the theological wisdom I have been taught. But if I want to experience Good Friday, along with the original disciples, I’m going to allow myself to be completely confused.
Peter denied our lord three times during the trial of Jesus. Don’t be hard on him, you would have done the same. It is said that Peter denied knowing him because he was afraid that the Romans would come after him next. While this was true, I suspect that Peter also denied Jesus for the same reason Judas did; because all Jews knew that Messiah could not hung on a tree (Galatians 3:13), and the way that the trial was going, it looked like this was where he was headed. Now none of the disciples could be sure that they ever really knew him at all.
Messiah was supposed to come and destroy the oppressors of the Israelites (Rome) in the fashion of King David – but here he was executed by the Romans.
Messiah was supposed to redeem the Israelites like God had done when he redeemed them from Egypt back in the days of Moses – but a dead messiah cannot possibly do that.
Messiah was supposed to be God’s approved Man of God – but certainly Jesus was not Messiah because he was dead.
It must have been terrible to see Jesus die. The disappointment they must have felt when they realized that they had given up everything to follow him for three years only to realize that he was dead must have been horrific. They must have thought more than once that they wished they could just wake up and have it be simply a terrible nightmare.
But this was “Good Friday” and the terrible confusion would torment them for the next agonizingly long three days.
3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”