Thursday, 10 April 2014

Good Friday 2014- Transformed by the Crucified Christ

On Good Friday, we often meditate and reflect on the last words of Jesus Christ on the Cross. In the 4 Gospels there are seven sayings attributed to the dying Christ - one in Matthew and Mark, three each in Luke and John. Good Friday Meditations focus on the passion and suffering of Jesus Christ and on the loving compassion of our "Merciful Saviour".

I propose a further meditation on Jesus's words from the Cross.

1. My God, My God why have you forsaken me ??

These words are recorded in both Matthew and Mark and in them alone. They are from the opening verse of Psalm 22 and a text that Jesus Christ would have known well. As he is nailed to the Cross the words appropriately express the pain and abandonment that he must have felt. Throughout human history it is likely that everyone at some time in life, will express the same sentiment.

2. Father Forgive them, for they do not know  what they do :

Luke records these as Jesus's first words as he is nailed to the Cross. They show the extraordinary compassion of our "Saviour", fulfilling his own instruction to his disciples and to us to forgive our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

3.  Truly, I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise :

These words also are found only in Luke, an expression of hope and compassion given to one of those crucified with Jesus Christ who asked to be remembered by him when he was glorified. The Man's faith in Jesus Christ is met with a promise of fulfillment.

4. Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit:

The Final Words recorded by Luke,a quote from Psalm 31 are also surely well known to Jesus Christ. They express the other side of abandonment which is "TRUST" even in the darkest hour.

5. Woman, behold your Son. Son, Behold your mother :

These Words from the Cross are recorded in John's Gospel. Jesus Christ is speaking to his own mother and to the one known as the "Beloved Disciple". His concern is to establish a new family relationship for his mother, giving her someone to care for her.

It is perhaps the most intimate moment recorded from the crucifixion. Our relationships specially with those we love and with whom we share a life history but also with all whose lives intersect with ours, matter.

Jesus Christ creates a new bond among us.

6. I Thirst :

These words found only in John are related to John's account of Jesus's description of himself as "LIVING WATER".

There is at once, a very human and a spiritual aspect to this cry. On the one hand, Jesus Christ suffers and thirsts as would all humans, but beyond this there is the theme of the deepest human longings for God and for God's transforming, loving, and life - giving presence in our lives.

7.  It is Finished !!

John's final words from the dying Jesus Christ are a cry of victory. Jesus Christ, the incarnate love of God has loved to the very end. He has loved inspite of betrayal, torture, humiliation, and suffering. He has loved enough to die as we all will die.

Credits : Don Bosco's Madonna Mumbai
              March 2010 Vol 11 No 11


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