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.

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124 Responses to It Is Finished. Good Friday.

  1. ZurichMike says:

    Inspired by Menagerie, I sent an Easter message to my team two days ago about my recollections as a child of attending services during Holy Week. I wrote a disclaimer at the top of the message that it was personal, not related to company, did not express view of management, and optional reading — although 100% of my team is Christian or Orthodox Christian).

    Theme of message: With covid19 we are breaking bread apart (Holy Thursday), engaged in social distancing taken to infinity (Christ removed from the tabernacle, altar stripped, statues covered), quarantined (Christ in the tomb; we alone without hope at home), but remembering the passage from the Holy Saturday vigil Mass: “A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it.” (John 1:5) and the lighting of the Pascal candle and return of Christ Resurrected. I asked them to stay strong, look to each other for support, and keep the Light shining brightly in their lives.

    I hesitated sending the message — political correctness, you know — but the amazing response messages from my team brought tears to my eyes. Glad I did.

    And so grateful that Menagerie keeps the Light shining in The Treehouse.

    Liked by 36 people

  2. Nice post. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. TheLastDemocrat says:

    Regarding the Passion of the Christ movie –
    I saw it when it first came out. 2004. Yes, it was powerful.
    Since then, I have done a lot of Bible reading, and a lot of living. And giving. [Well over $50,000 to my church, which sounds quite striking when I add it up. These numbers are on my indiv itemization tax sheet, and verified by statements from my church, etc.]

    So, a good 15 years as a practicing, studying Christian.

    I watched this movie for the second time a year ago. Long story short, we were on spring break at a place that had DVDs to borrow.

    Knowing far better the panoply of prophecies fulfilled in this week, and the myriad of parallels occurring, that allow us to firmly know that Jesus was the Messiah, the redeemer, of prophecy, the movie hit me hard. Not the violence of the beating from the Roman soldiers, but the reality of it all.

    Watching the movie, the prophecies keep rolling one after the other in a tour de force. It broke me. The family has not seen me cry like that. There was a certain kind of joy along with the sadness, and the shame and regret knowing that Jesus did this for me and others, fully aware of how I and others have denigrated him and otherwise ignored him.

    The movie is not ideal. But I think it adheres close enough to Scripture to be worthwhile.

    [The beating scene I think is a bit heavy. I have heard people say that Jesus sustained the worst beating any human has ever gotten. This is a myth, and I don’t know where it comes from. It was humiliating. It was bad. It fulfilled prophecy. But there is no scripture noting it was the worst or had to be the worst. I am sure drug cartels beat people worse than that daily.]

    So, if you dare, watch The Passion and keep an eye out for the prophecies as they occur.

    Liked by 6 people

    • US says:

      When Pope John Paul II saw the Passion of the Christ he was asked what he thought of the movie. The response of this now Saint was: “It is as it was”.

      Liked by 7 people

    • anthonydog says:

      Thank you for your insights. I’ve owned the movie for years and just could not
      bear to watch it.

      Liked by 6 people

      • lisabrqwc says:

        I saw it in the theater and just sobbed uncontrollably throughout. I bought it on DVD and try to watch a day or two before Resurrection Sunday, but it’s a hard film to watch… draining actually.

        I think it’s good to sort of experience what our Lord endured so that He could have us with Him in all eternity.

        A line from a worship song that I like is Jesus says, “When I drank the world’s sin so I could carry you in and give you life.”

        Lord, help me love you even more with all my heart, my soul, and my mind. Amen

        Liked by 6 people

    • efilnikcufecin101 says:

      That is my mission today. yesterday I spent the day lazing with my English Bulldog Moonshine, she and I watched everything we could about the Bible and it’s Truths!! What a great day it was. I plan today to be even better, not a fun day, but a Good day, a day of love and remembrance, reflection and of course balling my eyes out haha!!
      I am a man by the way, so admitting of crying is well, a vulnerability, that I am willing to suffer for He whom suffered the Ultimate for me…
      I Love every one of you, I do not know you, but if my God loves you, well so do I.
      God Bless and have a wonderfilled Good Friday.

      Liked by 6 people

    • So few Christians know that Jesus quoted ps22 on the cross, giving the Pharisees their sign.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Reloader says:

      “people say that Jesus sustained the worst beating any human has ever gotten. This is a myth, …”

      Not a myth. From the Bible.

      “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man,
      and his form more than the sons of men:” Isaiah 52:14

      Like

  4. US says:

    One can follow the entire old rite Easter Triduum at live mass.net We used to travel to Ventura, California to get it entirely. Unfortunately no longer available. The Easter Vesper is the most beautiful Mass of all.

    We have two 1962 Daily Missals so through Holy Week we do the readings out loud to each other, recommend it.

    This year sent emails yesterday to my Jewish friends, say they got that one right and hoping this pestilence passes all of us over. In the past week I have telephoned many friends and acquaintances. As we are all cut off, everyone really appreciates to speak to a fellow human being.

    Dear Sundance, Menagerie, and all Treepers, have a Holy Good Friday and very Happy Easter. Our Nation will Resurrect in part through your tireless work.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Kirsty I says:

    The saddest words spoken,
    “My God! My God! Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
    The victory was hardly heard, the whisper that would change our relationship with our Great God forever ~ out of bruised and parched lips, my Beloved Saviour,
    My King of Kings, the perfect, spotless Lamb of God, spoke,
    “It is finished.”
    He did this for me.
    Me?
    Who am I that God made flesh would die for such a wretch as I?
    The beautiful horrible truth.
    …and the disciples and Mary went to the upper room and prayed and cried, they were confused and horrified,
    and the last three sentences Peter uttered were of his complete denial of Jesus,
    and then the cock crowed.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Bubby says:

      I have always pondered that verse. Jesus calling out to our heavenly Father using “My God” it’s as if the relationship had somehow changed. The gospels record Jesus referring to God as Father over 175 times. I believe at the moment before His death Jesus felt abandoned by God and all alone, like so many of us feel at times, just before the outpouring of God’s wrath on Him for bearing all our sins. But God didn’t abandon Jesus and won’t abandon us if we just believe! It’s called “Good Friday” because Romans 3:25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Amen!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jesus was quoting Ps22, not proclaiming abandonment.
        He was reminding the Pharisees of the crucifixion predicted by David in Ps22.
        This was the sign He promised them, the one they would have when the Son of Man was lifted up. Literally.
        I wonder how they felt when they heard it.
        i’ll bet it cinched the deal for Nicodemus.

        Liked by 2 people

        • anniesezso says:

          What I was taught, Martin Luther outlines the three-fold suffering of Jesus in Psalm 22, physical pain, shame, and God’s wrath (unique to the cross Jesus is suffering this affliction so we will never know it). Jesus prays Psalm 22 so that we can pray Psalm 23 (Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. . . I will fear no evil). Almighty and everlasting God, help us to remember and give thanks for our Lord’s Passion.

          Liked by 1 person

        • TMonroe says:

          Psalm 22:21-24 — “Save me from the mouth of the lion; at the horns of the wild oxen You have answered me! I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; I will praise You in the assembly. You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All descendants of Jacob, honor Him! All offspring of Israel, revere Him! For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted. He has not hidden His face from him, but has attended to his cry for help”.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Reloader says:

          Psalm 22 is recorded in the Bible in Hebrew. But in the Gospels, including Matthew, the word “Sabachthani” is not Hebrew. And it’s not Greek. Some translations indicate that “Sabachthani” is an Aramaic word.

          But the very respected Strong’s Concordance indicates that the word is of Chaldean origin.

          I asked a minister once why would Christ use a word from a heathen, Chaldean language, especially calling out to the Father. The only answer we could come up with is that it is from the very first language that Christ used on earth. Abraham spoke only Chaldean.

          And when did Christ talk with Abraham?

          “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.” — Hebrews 7: 1-4

          Liked by 1 person

      • Elizabeth says:

        I’ve read that He was quoting the first line of Psalm 22 which is a psalm that begins with lament but ends in praise. He was pointing to the Scripture being fulfilled.
        Psalm 22

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

        Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

        2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;

        and by night, but find no rest.

        3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

        4 In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.

        5 To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

        6 But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people.

        7 All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;

        8 “Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

        9 Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe from my mother’s breast.

        10 On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.

        11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

        12 Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bã’shan surround me;

        13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and 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 within my breast;

        15 my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

        16 For dogs are all around me; a company of evildoers encircles me. My hands and feet have shriveled;

        17 I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me;

        18 they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.

        19 But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid!

        20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!

        21 Save me from the mouth of the lion!

        From the horns of the wild oxen, you have rescued me.

        22 I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.

        23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

        24 For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.

        25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

        26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord. May your hearts live forever!

        27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.

        28 For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.

        29 To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him.

        30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord,

        31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.

        All Scripture citations are from The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Bubby says:

          I’m familiar with Psalm 22 it’s the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament. I just happen to believe that Christ quoting it on the cross was more than just “pointing to the Scripture being fulfilled.” I believe Christ fulfills all the OT prophecies every one of one. What I ponder is did Christ become like one of us at that moment feeling David’s anguish and forsakenness in that Psalm? That the Father was distant, afar neither answering his prayer “take this cup from me” nor granting Him any help like David’s plea. That’s what I ponder. I to have felt David’s anguish, forsakenness and unanswered prayers. I’m no Biblical scholar just a simple old man who believes, who has faith that Jesus was/is the Messiah. Blessings to all.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Many say that Jesus said that in response to the Father turning His back on Him.
            Yet the only reason for believing that is by a misinterpretation of what Jesus was saying.
            He and the Father are one.
            If they ever were not one, the universe would turn to dust.
            Jesus had marched to this cross, planned it before the earth was created.
            I don’t think He lost track of that at the end.
            But it’s not based on what we know, but Who we know, eh? 🙂

            Like

            • Bubby says:

              That’s one view. Here’s another. “Jesus’ cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) has puzzled many. Jesus is actually quoting the opening line of Psalm 22 and using it to express His deep agony on the cross. He is suffering the penalty for our sin, in our place.

              The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Death includes two dimensions—physical and spiritual. Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. Spiritual death is the separation of the spirit from God. Since Jesus was dying for our sin as our substitute, He was experiencing the agony of separation from His Father. It was the agony of hell.

              There is an unfathomable mystery here. Jesus was both God and man united in one divine Person. He could not suffer and die with respect to His deity, but He could suffer the agony of separation from the Father and actually die physically with respect to His humanity. And He did, that we might, through repentance from sin and faith in Him as our Savior and Lord, be forgiven of our sin and reconciled with God.” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Staff. I will continue to ponder.

              Like

            • decisiontime16 says:

              “The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.”

              Like

      • TMonroe says:

        “I have always pondered that verse. Jesus calling out to our heavenly Father using “My God” it’s as if the relationship had somehow changed. The gospels record Jesus referring to God as Father over 175 times.”

        John 16:27 is what appears to be a relevant verse from before the resurrection: “For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God.” Here is a reference naming both Father and God as it refers to the disciple’s relationship with the Father.

        Shortly afterwards as Jesus prays directly to the Father in John 17, we read: “Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent” (John 17:3). It is noteworthy that after He called His Father “the only true God”, He then didn’t simply say “Me” in reference to Himself but noted a positional name and title.

        On the cross, Jesus uttered words from Psalm 22 calling to “My God” (cf. Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34). His situation brings to mind the agony and anguish He had felt in the garden of Gethsemane as He contemplated what awaited Him so soon. There, Jesus noted to the disciples that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh weak” (cf. Matthew 26:41) amidst His prayers: ““My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as You” (cf. Matthew 26:39).

        The book of Hebrews points to purposes being accomplished through all of this: “During the days of Jesus’ earthly life, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8-9). In Christ, “we do not have a high priest not being able to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one having been tempted in all things by the same way, without sin” (cf. Hebrews 4:15).

        All of this helps put Christ’s words on the cross into context, as He suffered in His humanity and called in His hour of suffering as man to His God. It is noteworthy that while on the cross, Jesus also called onto His Father by name: “And having called out in a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” And having said this, He breathed His last” (Luke 23:46).

        This post-resurrection exchange from John 20:17 between Jesus and Mary Magdalene also goes to positional and relational affirmations:
        “Jesus says to her, “Do not touch Me, for not yet have I ascended to the Father. Now go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”

        Liked by 1 person

  6. PhillyGirl says:

    Thanks for this moving reflection and reminding us what is all about

    Liked by 4 people

  7. TheLastDemocrat says:

    Something I realized in the recent year, from my Bible reading:
    Jesus probably did not carry his cross very far.

    Via Dolorosa is between a quarter and a half of a mile.

    Luke 23:26 says, “as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene.

    This makes it sound like this happened just a bit after they all started the walk to Golgatha. “As they led him away…” How far could this have been, if expressed this way? Maybe 100 yards?

    The other Gospel books do not say more; they have less detail.

    So, all of the dramatic movies and other depictions that dramatize this carrying of the cross are off-track. Also, we do not know how big the cross was. One thing I read said that the Romans may have kept the uprights in place, and had the convicted carry the cross-beam.

    I have been doing a home project, and I am pretty sure I could not go 400 yards with the massive cross often depicted. Nor could I have at the age of 33. Not in one afternoon.

    Some portrayals have Jesus with massive blood flowing from huge thorns pressed hard into Jesus’ flesh…
    Matthew and Mark just note that the Roman soldiers made a crown of thorns and put it on his head. Nothing about blood, or how roughly it was placed on his head. It was done for mockery, not punishment, although it is pretty clear the guards were not trying to go easy on him.

    So, we should respect that this event occurred – for many reasons – but lets not over-dramatize things. We risk getting into some shaky theology if it depends on terrible thorns and a massive cross carried half a mile.

    I have no doubt that the beating was bad. This was how the ruling Romans instilled a fear of their wrath on the populace.

    It is a puzzle why God might have had Simon of Cyrene be noted to carry the cross. When we have a detail like this, it often has some meaning. If anyone has any ideas or info, please post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • US says:

      It was a deadly march for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • efilnikcufecin101 says:

      The crown of thorns was beaten into his head with a reed cane. It is there in at least 1 of the 4 gospels.
      Simon of Cyrene was a Samaritan, Just like the lady at the well.Just like the man on the road that stopped to help when a priest and another “Holy Man” passed by the injured man.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Cyrene was located in northern Africa in eastern Libya.
        Luke has no mention of the crown of thorns.
        Matthew (27:29), Mark (15:17) and John (19:2, 5) only mention the placement, not a beating of it onto His head.
        I only say this to keep the record straight, not to argue.

        Liked by 2 people

    • John17milw says:

      When we speak of Jesus humiliation we say that he did not use the divine power he always had, but laid it aside. In his humanity he was too weak to carry it, so he chose Simon for the honor. Not another Judas, but one who was redeemed by the cross. What honor has he chosen each of us for as we pray, Thy kingdom come?

      Like

    • free2313 says:

      Walk a mile in Christ beaten condition and then come back and tell us how easy it must have been, to walk the Via Dolorosa dragging a sturdy wooden cross, which you imagine could not have been more than 1,000 steps…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. TheLastDemocrat says:

    Genesis 22: lots of parallels with the crucifixion…
    Abraham is asked to sacrifice his “only son.”
    Son carries the wooden material of his demise – the fire wood. Jesus carried the cross, the wood of his demise.

    Isaac was to be sacrificed, but lived. Jesus was sacrificed, but lived.

    Just after God stops Abraham in the process of sacrificing Isaac, Abraham sees a ram stuck by horn in a thicket.
    The ram is later made part of the Levitical sacrifices. The ram’s head is stuck in a thicket, and Jesus has a crown of thorns stuck on his head – as a crown to mock that he is claiming to be a king, symbolized both by crown and by horn, but is not king, as far as the Roman guards know.

    The ram is stuck by his horns, horns being a symbol of being a king.
    Leviticus 1 – 6 has the sacrificial offerings. I am not strong in this area. I do not know how each type of offering lines up with Jesus. But the Ram sacrifice is the “guilt” sacrifice. Isaiah notes the Jesus will bear our inequities, our guilt. Another sobering foreshadowing from Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac and Jesus’ crucifixion.

    There is so much to give us the heads-up that God is real, and he is the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and he knows each of us personally, and has redeemed us so we can get back to where we were before disobedience – back to eternal relationship with our heavenly Father, and with no more death, and no more tears.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TMonroe says:

      Hebrews 11:17-19 — “By faith Abraham, being tested, has offered up Isaac. Even the one having received the promises was offering up his only begotten son, as to whom it was said, “In Isaac your offspring will be reckoned,” having reasoned that God was able even to raise him out from the dead, from where he received him also in a simile.”

      Like

  9. A2 says:

    Today, the sun came out after two weeks of rain and darkened clouds.

    The Christ has suffered, endured and will be risen, taking our sins, with him.

    In my village total silence.
    Redemption,

    We are blessed, and renewed. Believe in me.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Liberty ONE says:

    THANK YOU Menagerie for that very moving, beautiful post and pictures etc. I cried during the scourging and Crucifixion scenes in the Passion. To this day, I still recall them and think of the suffering Our Lord Jesus Christ went through for our sake and salvation being OUR Savior & Redeemer. We are ALL sinners and in spite of this, He WILL always be merciful IF we only believe in Him. A very Happy & Joyous Easter to you and all Treppers.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Naz says:

    This is a difficult day, made all the more so by not being able to be in communion with the members of my parish. The alternative is to plunge into the loneliness of that last walk he took, to feel the ache of his sacrifice and be grateful for everything He has given me.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sugarhillhardrock says:

    So well said, Liberty One.
    Thank you again, Menagerie.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Conservative_302 says:

    Anytime I get worried or scared I say the first line below. It calms me and reminds me God has this. He has everything.

    Psalm 23
    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;
    He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

    Liked by 8 people

    • LafnH20 says:

      AMEN

      Liked by 2 people

    • budklatsch says:

      I now say the 23rd Psalm when washing my hands.

      Liked by 2 people

    • John17milw says:

      In recent years I have noticed that the Psalms are not randomly ordered, but that there is a deliberate progression of thought from one to the next. What did it cost him to be our Shepherd? Read Psalm 22. John connects these two concepts in chapter 10 of his gospel. We sometimes look at Psalm 22, especially the first verse, as if the Father went so far as to hate His Son. John corrects that by recording Jesus words, “The reason my Father loves me is because I lay down my life for the sheep.”

      Liked by 3 people

  14. Dora says:

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Johnny Bravo says:

    I have had one of the best weeks in many years. Studying the scriptures this week has brought me so much closer to our Saviour.

    Teary eyed reading the book of Matthew and his account of Jesus in the final days, “I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me”. Hallelujah praise the Lord.

    Peace to all.

    Liked by 8 people

  16. LafnH20 says:

    Thank You, Menagerie!

    “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.”

    AMEN
    🙏

    Liked by 7 people

    • Eric C. says:

      Absolutely, AMEN!!

      We are in the midst of a global storm and we have no control over anything but what we do with the extra free time that has been blessed upon us.

      Proverbs 21:20 “in the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil…”

      This kinda takes on a new meaning. I have a deep personal faith, but haven’t attended formal church regularly. We have a church and pastor we love, but don’t as often as we should “in person” (the church has great streaming of their services every week)

      I have faith that we will get through this storm stronger and wiser.

      Amazingly, this will be the first Easter ever (at least within our lifetimes) with no distractions, period: no Masters tournament to watch, no basketball, no baseball, no hockey, no theme parks to visit, no movies to go see, no shopping to do, nothing!

      For those who embrace it, this can be the most meaningful observance of Holy Week they have ever experienced. For most, they won’t have the opportunity to go through the motions of the church service, instead they will need to delve into the scripture and teachings so they can create their own: you learn more by doing as opposed to simply following.

      The only thing we can control is how we experience our faith.

      Liked by 4 people

      • LafnH20 says:

        “The only thing we can control is how we experience our faith.”

        Ibdeed, Eric C.

        “But you, when you pray, go into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6)

        https://unlockingthebible.org/2017/05/four-reasons-to-meet-with-god-in-secret/

        FTA..

        Obviously, we are to pray often with others as well. Jesus taught clearly about the power of agreeing prayer. If Jesus taught us to pray alone in secret and with others in agreement, there is obviously to be a balance of both in the Christian life.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Ausonius says:

    Another movie can be recommended today and through the weekend: the 1959 version of Ben-Hur with Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd.

    The book by Civil War General Lew Wallace was required reading in the schools for decades, but as standards faded and anti-Christian attitudes took root in the educational system it was gradually removed.

    For those who do not know, the story deals with a Romanized Jew in Jerusalem named Judah Ben-Hur, whose best friend growing up is a Roman aristocrat. The latter leaves for Rome in adolescence, and returns in adulthood as an ambitious, even ruthless ladder-climber. He expects his former friend to spy for him and raise them both up the ladder.

    All of this happens as Jesus is starting His ministry in the background.

    AVOID the recent movie re-make! The silent version has its moments: one must account for the exaggerated acting style often seen in silent movies.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. nwtex says:

    RIP Andre 🕊️

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Seneca the Elder says:

    Menagerie- Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the inspired readings during this Holy Week 2020. If ever there was a time that I needed to ponder and reflect on my faith and the love of Jesus our Savior, it is now.
    I have been praying and reading throughout the long days and nights, but this Good Friday is especially trying. I have never looked forward to Easter as much as I do today.
    God bless you and your family.

    Liked by 17 people

  20. Dora says:

    Liked by 6 people

    • Lepanto says:

      Dora – I happen to live in the backyard of these Adrian Dominican Sisters!
      They sponsored a very authentic Montessori school for many years, and some of the best times in our oldest kids’ lives were spent there. Great memories.

      Like

  21. VATam says:

    Your reflection on the Passion of Christ is beautiful.

    Just a small correction: Catholics believe Easter is eight days long, ending on the Sunday after Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday.

    That is something to contemplate: Easter isn’t a just one day after which everything goes back to normal on the Monday that follows. It is eight glorious days to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. It ends with a celebration of God’s mercy available to every last person.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. CountryDoc says:

    Liked by 3 people

  23. straightstreet says:

    Thank you Jesus my Savior! Without you there is no hope. With you there is hope of eternal salvation! Hallelujah! \0/

    Liked by 2 people

  24. jumpinjarhead says:

    An excellent and timely post especially given the draconian and very troubling State actions being taken against churches across America.

    Liked by 5 people

    • The closing out our buildings can only strengthen our faith,

      Our testimonies and our faith does not rely on a building or a place our faith is within us.

      This is something the Left has always learned the hard way.

      The communists tried their best to stamp out Religion in Russia and other countries but all it did was grow stronger.

      It will never leave our hearts and comes back like a Lion when finally unchained.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. bacillus says:

    This is heart-wrenching meditation on the Passion of our LORD over at The Catholic Thing.

    None Was Equal to the Weight but God
    St. John Henry Newman

    https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2020/04/10/none-was-equal-to-the-weight-but-god/

    Liked by 3 people

  26. MO Pragmatist says:

    “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” Jesus, you are my Lord and Savior and you were not forsaken. You died to cleanse me and world of our sins. Then you rose again to show that you truly are the Right Hand of God our Father.

    During this holiest of holy days at Easter, praise God in any way you can. We may not be able to gather in God’s House, but He still hears our prayers from wherever they are offered. This too shall pass!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly:
      Jesus was quoting David in Ps22, This gave the Pharisees the sign they were looking for.
      Jesus and the Father had this worked out since before the universe was created, and at the last minute The All-Powerful Ruler of More than the Universe flinches?
      No.
      If the Father and the Son (who with the Spirit are referred to as the “Godhead” in perfect unity) ever separated, I believe the universe would crumble.

      Like

      • anniesezso says:

        It has nothing to do with flinching. The mystery of that separation is far too deep even for the most mature believer to fathom. But God revealed the anguish of separation from His heavenly Father that His becoming sin for us had brought.

        Like

    • Yes MO Pragmatist this too will pass.

      God created this beautiful World, it belongs to Him and we are His beloved children he has not forgotten us.

      The evil here seems to have a bit of the upper hand right not but it will not prevail, this World is Heavenly Fathers creation.

      We have nothing to fear if we can keep Faith in the One who is really in charge.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Ausonius says:

    This is the final day I will offer this: very appropriate cantata for Good Friday. Since we cannot go to Good Friday services, this is an alternative. It lasts about 50 minutes or so. The YouTube links are below.

    The translation is partly mine in spots, partly from the score, which is in the public domain.

    Theodore Dubois (1837-1924) was a French composer, who created a large number of religious works, among them Les Sept Paroles Du Christ (The Seven Last Words of Christ). The title is misleading, as “seven last statements” would be more appropriate. The text is derived from Saint Jerome’s translation of the Bible into Latin. For decades it was performed regularly throughout Christendom, in both Catholic and Protestant churches, during Lent and especially in Holy Week. If you have not heard of it, the reason lies in the unfortunate decade of the 1960’s. As with many great religious works from our Catholic musical heritage, it was mistakenly discarded back then by too many people: I have made it a tradition to play it during Holy Week in my Latin classes.

    This performance by a Catholic Choir in Korea with a symphony orchestra is not to be missed!

    Part I – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K_nzI8h_qU

    Part II – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lNi18B0LGI&t=553s

    The Seven Last Words of Christ by Théodore Dubois

    Introduction
    O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite, et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus.Posuit me Dominus desolatam, tota die moerore confectamne vocetis me Noemi, sed vocate me Mara.
    All you who travel upon the highway, pay attention to me and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow. The Lord has treated me bitterly. Call me Naomi (pleasantness) no longer, instead call me Mara (bitterness).

    First Word
    “Pater, dimitte illis, non enim sciunt, quid faciunt.”
    Et dicebant omnes: “Reus est mortis, reus est mortis! Tolle, tolle, crucifige eum! Sanguis eius super nos et super filios nostros.” Crucifixerunt Jesum et latrones, unum a dextris et alterum a sinistris.

    “Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.”
    And they all said: “He should be punished with death; take him, take him, crucify him. Let his blood be on us and on our children.” They crucified Jesus and the thieves, one at his right hand and the other at his left.

    Second Word
    “Hodie mecum eris in Paradiso, amen, amen, dico tibi.”
    “Domine, memento mei cum veneris in regnum tuum.”

    “Amen, Amen I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
    “Lord, remember me when you enter into your kingdom.”

    Third Word
    “Mulier, ecce filius tuus.”
    Stabat Mater dolorosa iuxta crucem lacrymosa, dum pendebat Filius. Quis est homo, qui non fleret, Christi Matrem si videret, in tanto supplicio?

    “Woman, behold your Son.”
    The grieving Mother stands crying at the cross, while her Son suffers punishment. Who is the person who would not weep seeing Christ’s Mother in such torment?

    Fourth Word
    “Deus Meus, ut quid dereliquisti Me? Omnes amici Mei dereliquerunt Me! Praevaluerunt insidiantes Mihi! Tradidit Me quem diligebam. Vinea Mea electa, Ego te plantavi! Quomodo conversa es in amaratudine ut Me crucifigeres?”
    “My God, why have you deserted Me? All of My friends have deserted Me! Those who hate Me have prevailed! The one whom I loved betrayed Me. My chosen vine, I planted you; why has your taste turned so bitter that now you crucify Me?”

    Fifth Word
    “Sitio!”
    Judaei praetereuntes blasphemabant eum, moventes capita sua et dicentes:“Vah! Vah! Vah! Qui destruis templum Dei, si Tu es Christus, Filius Dei, descende nunc de cruce, ut videamus et credamus Tibi. Si Tu es Rex Judaeorum, salvum Te fac.”

    “I thirst!”
    The Jews who were passing by blasphemed him, shaking their heads and saying: “Bah! Bah! Bah! So You would destroy the temple of God! If you are Christ, the Son of God, come down now from the cross so that we may see it and believe in You. If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”

    Sixth Word
    “Pater, in manus Tuas commendo spiritum Meum. Pater Meus es Tu, Deus Meus, Susceptor salutis Meae. In manus Tuas commendo spiritum Meum.”
    Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit. You are My Father, My God, My Savior. Into Your hands I commend My spirit.”

    Seventh Word
    Et clamans Jesus voce magna dixit: “Consummatum est!”
    Et inclinato capite, tradidit spiritum. Erat autem fere hora sexta: obscuratus est sol. Et tenebrae factae sunt in universam terram! Velum templi scissum est! Omnis terra tremuit! Petrae scissa et monumenta aperta sunt.

    And crying in a loud voice, Jesus said: “It is finished!”
    And with His head bowed, He gave up His spirit. It was, however, the (ninth) hour. The sun was obscure and darkness covered the entire earth! The veil of the temple was torn! The entire earth trembled! Rocks split apart and tombs were opened!

    Final Prayer
    Adoramus Te, Chiste, et benedicimus Tibi, quia per sanctam crucem Tuam redemisti mundum.
    We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You, because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Gunner says:

    There is but one hope…thank you, my sweet Savior. I can’t even begin to fathom the pain and suffering you bore for the likes of me. But thank you. I weep this day when I try to imagine your suffering…but I awaken with renewed strength as I see you rise from the tomb.

    “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55).

    Liked by 6 people

  29. KT says:

    When Jesus gave His life over, the veil in the temple tore from top to bottom (Matt 27:51)…no man did this, as he would tear it bottom to top. This caused an opening to The Holy of Holies…the place where only God could dwell. This changed life for us forever. God was now with us, available. The lamb was slain for our sin. No sacrifice of an animal now would compare to all that Jesus just endured and overcome. A King of Kings have up His throne and came to the lowest of Jewish society. Loved a life overlooked due to His “unimportant” status. Get learned all of His father’s words. Not because He was singled out for special teaching in the temple, but because He went ” to My Father’s House” to learn. His radical love and ability to teach the Words made Him dangerous. He was to take away the sun of the World and draw us to the Father, the enemy swarmed. But all the arrows of the enemy failed to miss the target. He was put to death in the most demeaning and painful manor of the day….perfected by sadistic people. It He overcame that brave because of His overwhelming love, “That not one would perish”!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. TexanInFL says:

    What a beautiful witness you wrote. I say bless you and all my fellow treepers and families today and this weekend. I have had a long journey finding my faith, probably a long ways to go. But one thing I do know, that our Father God loved me so much he sacrificed his son to die for me. I thank him for that. God Bless you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. jimrockfish says:

    Thank you for this post. God Bless you and everyone running the Treehouse.

    Liked by 4 people

  32. TradeBait says:

    Thank you for this inspiration, Menagerie. May the Lord’s face shine upon you and give you peace.

    Like

  33. MTeresa says:

    Why did Christ do this? Because He loves you so much that He wants you there with Him as He dies in agony for your sins, because YOUR presence is a consolation to HIM, which is a truth that is so incomprehensible in its infinite goodness and purity of it’s gratuitous love that it should make us all melt with joy while simultaneously buckling us over in fear and humility. Remember, Christ Jesus would go through His entire Passion and Death JUST FOR YOU AND YOU ALONE, and even more incomprehensibly, He would do it AS MANY TIMES AS YOU GO TO MASS IN YOUR LIFE.

    – AB

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Jesus volunteered for the cross.
    He gave up his place in glory to come down here and die on that cross.
    What did He get out of the deal?
    Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame,
    What did He get? What was the joy that was set before Him that He didn’t have before the cross?
    Us.
    He got us.
    Like Tom Hanks said at the end of Saving Private Ryan: “Earn this”.

    Like

  35. Jesus volunteered for the cross.
    He gave up his place in glory to come down here and die on that cross.
    What did He get out of the deal?
    Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame,
    What did He get? What was the joy that was set before Him that He didn’t have before the cross?
    Us.
    He got us.
    Like Tom Hanks said at the end of Saving Private Ryan: “Earn this”.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. skeinster says:

    Thank you, Menagerie. What a beautiful meditation.
    As Eric C. mentioned above, this will be a very quiet and focused Good Friday for all of us.
    As we pray for ourselves to grow in holiness, for the safety or out families, friends and country, we are also thankful for the service and witness of the Treehouse.
    May God bless us all this Triduum.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Thank you jesus gave your life over US,
    Please continue gave strenght and Braveery To our president Trump To lead country in a Right
    Place,

    Liked by 1 person

  38. hocuspocus13 says:

    WATCHING GOD AT WORK NEVER GETS OLD
    ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

    Liked by 1 person

  39. kallibella says:

    Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrate His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    Praise God for giving us His only begotten Son. Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Mary Mask says:

    AMEN! My heart is broken thinking what my Lord and Savior suffered for us ALL! Thank you everyone for your beautiful and uplifting posts!

    Like

  41. farmerren says:

    HE, did it for me.

    …so humbling…

    I am ever so grateful.

    Like

  42. Dora says:

    Liked by 5 people

  43. Attorney says:

    Jesus saved me. I know he is real.
    A beautiful piece you have written Sundance.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. anothermikeh says:

    I love Easter. I believe it is the most significant Day on the calendar.

    However, I experience Good Friday to be filled with the most power.

    Good Friday is the Day I am reminded of my sin. I am a sinner – born into Sin, and having continued with it throughout my life. And the wages of my sin are death (Rom 6:23). So, I was destined to die for my sin. I needed a Savior, and a Savior was sent.

    Good Friday is the Day that my Savior, Jesus Messiah, took all my sin, as well as the sin of every other person in the world, past and future, onto His own Person. He suffered greatly for doing so, as He was separated from the Trinity for the only time in all eternity. His relationship with His Father was broken until the debt could be paid.

    Good Friday is the Day that debt was paid – by the Blood of the Lamb, who had no sin of His own, yet was crucified on a cross. He paid my debt, for my sin. He paid our debt, for our sin. He suffered, so that we would be blameless before God.

    Hallelujah!

    Liked by 2 people

  45. NanetteDragoon says:

    Thank you Sundance and Menagerie. I didn’t expect this, I’m here at work reading this and it brought me to tears. It simply reminds me I haven’t expressed the love of my Lord Jesus in my adult life as I had when I was a kid. I love Him and appreciate Him so. Thank you for this. God Bless you and all of us. Happy Easter….

    Liked by 2 people

  46. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 – 18

    FOR IF WE BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED AND ROSE AGAIN, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

    For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
    King James Version (KJV)

    We owe all to Jesus, for He paid it all for us at Calvary.

    Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

    Oh, how He loves you and me…
    Oh, how He loves you and me…
    He gave His life, what more could He do…
    Oh, how He loves you…
    Oh, how He loves me…
    Oh, how He loves you and me

    Like

  47. rashomon says:

    A relative — who studied the context as the words were translated among the Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew and their various dialects– chose to translate this as “It is ‘accomplished”, let the new vision/world begin”.

    Like

  48. decisiontime16 says:

    For those unable to attend services on Sunday or for whoever may be interested…

    From Franklin Graham – “I hope you will join me and my longtime friend Michael W. Smith this Sunday at 10 a.m. ET for a special Easter service on Fox News Channel.

    We recorded my message and Michael shared powerful worship music on the East Meadow of Central Park in New York City—a few yards from the Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital.

    Because our nation and the world are in crisis, I want to share a message of the unshakable hope found only in Jesus Christ this Sunday.

    The last several weeks have been some of the darkest moments we’ve ever seen. But in the midst of the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, remember that like the early witnesses to Christ’s resurrection, we stand before an empty tomb. He’s not dead. He’s alive!

    Many people today have never heard this life-changing Good News. Let’s share the angel’s message from that first Easter morning with everyone who will listen: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:5-6, ESV).

    Liked by 1 person

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