It Is Finished. Good Friday.

Today we observe Good Friday, the day of the death of Jesus. Many Christian Churches have different ways of observation, to prepare us for the coming resurrection of the Lord on Easter Sunday. Today, the sacrifices we have made during Lent culminate in our internalization of the great offering of Christ’s life. If we have been diligent in our Lenten preparations, Good Friday hits us with a power and force that brings us, literally and figuratively, to our knees with the grasp of what Jesus poured out for us. It becomes personal, a tiny sliver of the cross is buried in our heart. And so each year, we find that we give ourselves over to Christ just a little more through this time of penance and reflection. 

This year, in particular,  I suspect that many of us will experience Good Friday as we never have before, with a comprehension of our own mortality and perhaps even an understanding that there are so many things in this world we do not, we cannot, control. We can control our choice in relationship to those things, and to the most important choice of all, the life and death of Jesus Christ, who chose to hang on a cross and die for us. He had all control, and he made his choice for us.

For many years the practice of my faith was on auto pilot. Although I have an intellectual bent, I did not delve as deeply into the Bible, the Catechism, the history, and the teachings of my faith. When I finally did do more, pray more, read more, learn more, question more, and give more of myself, very haltingly at first, I was met with a tsunami of love and guidance from God, from Jesus, and of course, by the Spirit.

I timidly knocked on the door, and Jesus flung it open instantly, pulled me in, hugged me, sat me at his banquet table and introduced me to the feast I had shunned for years.

Of course, it isn’t always that way. Your spiritual life takes surprising turns, slows down, stops even at times, according to your senses. But your own senses are not a good guide. Sometimes when you struggle the most, feel things the least, you have a moment of self examination of your last months and you see the long path you traveled without really knowing where you were going.

Don’t do faith by feel. Don’t wait for sensation, answers, joy, hope, knowledge. All those things and so many more, they will come, but never on demand. Get on your knees and pray. Daily. Read the Bible, find a church if you haven’t already. Give alms. Do a good deed.

Feel good religion has pretty shallow moorings. Row out into the deep. When the storms come, try to remember that He who calms the storm is always in the boat with you.

The Easter Triduum, the marking of the days of Jesus’ passion and resurrection, the  most important time of the church year, begins with the evening Mass of Holy Thursday, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes on Easter Sunday evening. After preparing during the days of Lent, we celebrate these holiest of days in the Church year.

From John, Chapter 19:

Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders told him, “If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.

At these words Pilate brought Jesus out to them again and sat down at the judgement bench on the stone paved platform. It was now about noon of the day before Passover.

And Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your King!”

“What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no King but Caesar,” the chief priests shouted back.

So they had him at last, and he was taken out of the city, carrying his cross to the place known as “The Skull,” in Hebrew, “Golgotha.” There they crucified him and two others with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign over him reading “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and the signboard was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people read it.

Then the chief priests said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’ ”

Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written. It stays exactly as it is.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they put his garments into four piles, one for each of them. But they said, “Let’s not tear up his robe,” for it was seamless. “Lets throw dice to see who gets it.” This fulfilled the scripture that says, “They divided my clothes among them, and cast lots for my robe.” So that is what they did.

Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, Mary, his aunt, the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside me, his close friend, he said to her, “He is your son.”

And to me he said, “She is your mother.” And from then on, I took her into my home.

Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the scriptures said, “I’m thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so a sponge was soaked in it and put on a hyssop branch and help up to his lips.

When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished,” and bowed his head and dismissed his spirit.

Today we would like to invite you to share with us your reflections, your thoughts, your favorite readings on Good Friday. We sincerely hope that you will join in this conversation as a sharing of our common faith, an active searching, united in asking in this small way for God’s blessing upon His world this Easter Triduum. So many of us see change as something that is all or nothing. We postpone the changes we need to make in our lives to improve our relationship with God because we aren’t mentally “ready” to make that leap. In reality, our path to God is made in tiny steps, small differences, the little things that take us one step closer in faith.

We ask you to join us, help us, take that step. Together and seperately, may we aid each other through our words and prayers, to make this Good Friday an opening for the light that is Christ to penetrate our darkness.

I would also like to share a paragraph from The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

In Her Magisterial teaching of the faith and in the witness of her saints, the Church has never forgotten that “sinners were the authors and the ministers of all the sufferings the Divine Redeemer endured.” Taking into account the fact that our sins affect Christ himself, the Church does not hesitate to impute to Christians the gravest responsibility for the torment inflicted upon Jesus, a responsiblity with which they have all too often burdened the Jews alone.

]

Please respect the solemnity and purpose of this post and keep the comments on the Passion of our Lord.

This entry was posted in Christian Values, Religion, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

124 Responses to It Is Finished. Good Friday.

  1. Popesps says:

    If you have never read the Irish poem, “The Death of King Conor Mac Nessa” please consider doing so today of all days. It is a great way to end three hours of quiet contemplation while Christ hung on the cross.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike says:

    In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it is written: “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”. As a 10-year old altar boy, the priest asked me to put the platens away in the the safe, but we were taught not to ever touch the chalice or be guilty of mortal sin; but as things would happen as I was removing my hand from the safe, my hand grazed the chalice. It felt as if a knife had been shoved into my heart thinking that I had died for eternity. Coming finally to know Jesus as Christ when I was 29, I read another passage at Easter time from Mark 15:38 where it is written: “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” and I realized it was Jesus entering the true Holy of Holies. To know the forgiveness of our sins wrought for us through His death on the cross touches the deepest part of our beings. Furthermore, to recognize that by His resurrection we have new life is truly the most glorious truth. Some day we will see Him face to face.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. freepetta says:

    Thank you Menagerie for this inspirational reminder of what Good Friday is all about.
    Today I feel a very heavy hearted sense of loss and sadness. This has been an exceptionally solemn time for me.
    I look forward to Easter Sunday when He Rises.
    God Bless Everyone in these trying and difficult times.
    I Love and Appreciate You All.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. MorningWings says:

    On TBN.org (Trinity Broadcast Network) they are offering Sight & Sound Theatre’s “Jesus” which is a state-of-the-art theatrical stage production that was filmed in front of a live audience, Available on demand Easter weekend only: April 10-12 TBN broadcast debut on 4/11 @1pm ET/10am PT. I’ve seen many S&S productions in theater and they are spectacular.

    Also TBN will host a “Good Friday Worldwide” service tomorrow at 8/7c. It’s a special evening of praise and worship featuring Max Lucado, Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, Pat Barrett, and We The Kingdom.

    .

    Like

  5. trapper says:

    Psalm 22 King James Version

    22 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

    2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

    3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

    4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

    5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

    6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

    7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

    8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

    9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

    10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

    11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

    12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

    13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

    14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

    15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

    16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

    17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

    18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

    19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

    20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

    21 Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

    22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

    23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

    24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

    25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

    26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

    27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

    28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the governor among the nations.

    29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

    30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

    31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • piper567 says:

      trapper, thanks for posting this Psalm.
      any number of times this past week, I have run across references to this Psalm.
      it was an unexpected joy to run across it here in it’s entirety.
      thanks again.

      Like

  6. VandalizeDuhMastuhsAlgorithms says:

    One of the most profound statements of Jesus on the day, are the words. “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing…”

    “They” is yes the Roman soldiers pounding the nails through His body and into the wood of the cross.

    “They” is also the corrupt and insular leadership of the Jewish nation, the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees and the sort-of king Herod.

    “They” is also, yes, you and I and all of humanity of all time…

    But what really gets me is the, “they don’t know what they are doing.”

    Another rendition goes something as, “They do not realize the stakes, the evil, the consequences of what they are doing.”

    Guilty as charged.

    May God bless this Treehouse, our Nation and His Holy Church around the earth.

    Amen.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. yeah right says:

    ‘So they had him at last, and he was taken out of the city, carrying his cross to the place known as “The Skull,” in Hebrew, “Golgotha.” There they crucified him and two others with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. And Pilate posted a sign over him reading “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;’

    That place is where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is: https://churchoftheholysepulchre.net/

    One of the myriad historical evidence that go to proving the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. upstate909 says:

    thank you Menagerie, and to all commenters. My mother has thoroughly enjoyed all of your posts throughout this Lenten season. May God Bless you all, and may Jesus forever remain your light.

    Like

  9. The Thinking WASP says:

    Worthy post.

    Like

  10. rajabear1 says:

    Here every day, but post little.
    To celebrate Christ’s sacrifice knowing ‘today’s’ is the day he spread his arms, for the world?
    Pretty amazing.
    3 days, He rises.
    Christian woman ,we’re in weird times, but what doesn’t change, is God.
    Thx SD for always posting this with all the other work you do.
    It helps people stay grounded yet aware.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ghroman@aol.com says:

    I know you probably already received this but just had to share that this was AMAZING & perfect for today!! Just loved it! You & yours have a most beautiful Easter!!   

    Like

  12. VandalizeDuhMastuhsAlgorithms says:

    Another of my go to hymns, sort of my anti-complacency song… For any day, but especially today.

    “Ye who think of sin but lightly, nor suppose the evil great. Here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate…”

    “Here we have a firm foundation, here the refuge of the lost. Christ’s the Rock of our salvation, His the name of which we boast…”

    Like

  13. Thank you, Menagerie for all of your Lenten posts. They’re beautiful and much appreciated. And thank you to all the treepers for sharing their longings and wisdom on this holy day. So many beautiful, thought-provoking posts, also much appreciated.
    In pondering today’s events, the Crowning with Thorns always stands out to me. In man’s rebellion, he mocks God using thorns, the punishment of the first sin, pride.
    In Genesis 3, we read that after the Fall, God curses Satan and tells Adam that because he has eaten of the forbidden tree, “…cursed is the earth in thy work: with labor and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herbs of the earth. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust though shalt return.”
    Today the heart of rebellion against God lives on in the daily news, puny man thinking he can usurp Christ’s Kingship and do things his own way. But God is not mocked.
    Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, pray for us.

    Like

  14. Given the helpful discussion today on Psalm 22, I thought I’d pass this along. For a look at Holy Week through Jewish eyes, and for anyone interested in learning more about the Jewish roots of the Christian faith, an excellent book is “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” by Brant Pitre. He draws out the deep connections between the Manna, the Bread of the Presence, Passover, the Last Supper, Gethsemane, the Passion, connecting it all to Jesus’ final words on the cross, “It is finished.” The explanation of the Passover and the significance of the Fourth Cup is most profound.
    Here is a youtube video of the author, he’s a very dynamic speaker:

    Liked by 1 person

  15. andre says:

    Lifted up was He to die, it is finished was His cry. Now in heaven, exalted high, hallelujah, what a Savior. Thank you Jesus forever.

    Like

  16. keystonekon says:

    Thanks to all posters for your beautiful comments, and especially the video attachments.
    To Menagerie and Sundance, you are loved and appreciated for this platform.
    The Sacrifice Jesus made for us unworthy creatures is humbling. Watch the Passion of the Lord, even today as He laid in the tomb.
    Rejoice in His Resurrection tomorrow!

    Like

  17. keystonekon says:

    Thanks to all posters for your beautiful comments, and especially the video attachments.
    To Menagerie and Sundance, you are loved and appreciated for this platform.
    The Sacrifice Jesus made for us unworthy creatures is humbling. Watch the Passion of the Lord, even today as He laid in the tomb.
    Rejoice in His Resurrection tomorrow!

    Like

  18. keystonekon says:

    Thanks to all posters for your beautiful comments, and especially the video attachments.
    To Menagerie and Sundance, you are loved and appreciated for this platform.
    The Sacrifice Jesus made for us unworthy creatures is humbling. Watch the Passion of the Lord, even today as He laid in the tomb.
    Rejoice in His Resurrection tomorrow!

    Like

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