Crucifixion of Christ, Divine Surprises, Good Friday, Resurrection

GO TELL PETER

I didn’t go to church on Good Friday.

But I read the Biblical account.

And all day long, I thought about the agony of Jesus and how his followers–especially Peter–must have felt as they watched him suffer and die.

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The Denial of Peter by Caravaggio, 1610

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15216569Good Friday

But Then

I read the account of the resurrection when the angel instructed the women who had come to the tomb,

“Go tell the disciples and Peter, He goes before you into Galilee; you will see him there, just as He told you.” -Mk. 16:7

All day the phrase looped through my mind.

Go Tell Peter.

The editor within, wanting to be correct, reminded me that Mark records it, Go tell the disciples and Peter . . .

Even so

Go Tell Peter echoed through me

As I arranged flowers

Set the table

Iced the cake

Tidied up in preparation for Easter dinner.

Easter table

Go Tell Peter 

Bounced off the tiles as I showered and dressed.

Go Tell Peter.

As I settled into my chair to read.

GO TELL PETER

So I stopped.

And I finally asked,

“Tell him what, Lord?”

What I heard.

Go tell him that I’m a personal God.

One who calls him by name.

Not to condemn

But to forgive.

Not to punish

But to lift him out of the pain and depression brought on by his failures.

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Go tell Peter

Dry those bitter tears.

Strengthen those wobbly knees.

I am alive.

I go before you to Galilee.

To the place we first walked together.

I will meet you there.

I will tell you what to do next.

And I will imbue you with power to obey.

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REJOICE! The Cross & Tomb Are Empty!

Go Tell that Woman, Go Tell that Man.

I am alive.

I am opening the way for a new beginning.

Go back to where you first met me.

I will meet you there.

Or come to me for the first time.

I will show you what to do.

I will give you the ability and the will to follow me.

Go tell Peter.

Go tell.

Go.

Tell.

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So I ask you.

What are we waiting for?

Go and tell the Good News.

Christ the Savior is risen.

He is risen indeed.

 

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. -Matt. 28:6

Good Friday, Holy Week, Love

REFLECTIONS ON HOLY WEEK

As we enter Holy Week, I’ve been thinking about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I hope you’ll follow along.

Saturday, a devotional I use invited me to read Matthew 26:14-27:66. Then on Palm Sunday, the congregation followed a little donkey across the church grounds to the front doors as a minister led us in a dramatic reading of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

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We were given palm fronds to wave like the crowd that called out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Once inside the sanctuary, the dramatic reading continued using the text from the same scripture I read on Saturday. Chosen for this season in the life of the church, the long passage lays out events from the Last Supper to Jesus’s burial.

What transpired that week rocked the world, especially Jesus’ disciples and other followers. As I read and then listened to the account of his arrest, trial, and crucifixion, I tried to put myself in their places. How confusing and frightening it must have been. Even though Jesus attempted to prepare his followers beforehand, they couldn’t begin to understand until after His resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Birds: Five Points to Ponder

Thought Provoking Question

Saturday’s devotional asked me to identify the “threshold” moments I saw in the account. (One definition of threshold is a place or point of entering or beginning, doorway, entrance, portal.)

I thought more about what had been ripped away from Jesus’ followers than a new beginning. The actions of Judas and Peter are so well known, they were the easiest to identify.

How could Judas betray Jesus for money?

And blustery Peter — all talk.

Then there were the disciples who slept while Jesus prayed, the Jewish officials bent on killing Him, members of the mob, mocking soldiers, Pilate, the thieves crucified with Him, the Centurion, casual passersby, Joseph of Arimathea, and the women who watched from a distance.

All had a role in what we’ve come to call the The Passion of Jesus.


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, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. Matt. 27:55-56 NIV


MAKING IT PERSONAL

How easy it is to judge poor Peter through hind sight, until I ask myself how often I have run away and hidden. The truth is, I doubt if I could have summoned the courage to follow and watch the proceedings in the face of such danger.

I don’t think I’m alone.

The reading stirred questions about the Church in 2017.

I HAVE TO ASK

Sea Art

Does maintaining the status quo ever justify packing the court in favor of our position?

Does our need for acceptance prevent us from thinking for ourselves?

Are we tempted to use our power to humiliate someone with a differing opinion?

Do we avoid accepting responsibility by pawning if off on others and washing our hands of unfair consequences?

Are we brave enough to honor someone who falls out of favor and is “crucified” by public opinion?

Are we strong enough to be as faithful as the powerless women who kept watch during the worst day of their lives?

Are we humble enough when we’re guilty of wrongdoing, to admit it and seek forgiveness. Or do we make excuses because we’re too proud to admit our misdeeds?

MOMENT OF TRUTH

Don'sCrossEach time I

fail to stand up for the truth of the Gospel

seek to work out my own plan

vote with the crowd

look out for myself first

I deny and betray Him.

GOOD NEWS

But the Good News is, even when I’m at my worst, Jesus understands my frailty. And thankfully, His resurrection didn’t depend on undependable followers.

I look forward to Sunday when we’ll celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. But until then, I invite you to remember with me what He suffered on our behalf.

Through the power of His cross, he still invites us to step across the most important threshold of our lives — the one that leads into eternity with Him. All we must do is acknowledge our need for a Savior and accept His sacrifice.

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Faith is a mystery that each of us has to explore. But this I know from experience, when we honestly seek Him, He will come. Whatever happens, I want to be found faithful like those women who kept watch — especially when I don’t understand.

flower-crossI hope you will consider Jesus, the Lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the world.

If you’ve met Him, I am certain you will be honoring Him come Easter morn.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled with God by the death of his Son, much more, now reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 

Romans 5:10 JUB

 

Good Friday, Passion of Christ

GOOD FRIDAY QUESTIONS

Photo Credit: Gerd Altmann










Long, brutal day of mockery, beating, and cruel cross,

Crown of thorns, nails driven into his hands and feet,

How to bear the terrifying darkness of our Master’s death?

I was not ready, nor could I fathom despair so thick, 

Surely it will choke out my very life. 

I ask you, Where go we from here?




But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was 
bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace 
was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 

Isaiah 53:5


Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2016. All rights reserved