No Easter Without Good Friday
Preceding His crucifixion, Jesus suffered hours of unimaginable torture; facial beatings at the hands of Temple guards in the sham courtroom of Caiaphas; brutal scourging ordered by Pilate, by two Roman soldiers with flagrums of nine leather thongs fitted with lead balls and sharp pieces of bone, that caused over 240 deep lacerations from the back of His neck to the soles of His feet, leaving a mutilated mass of torn muscle and hanging flesh; and a tremendous loss of blood causing hypovolemic shock. To further mock and humiliate Him, Roman soldiers fastened a “Crown of Thorns” with branches (from a wild hawthorn bush with long, sharp, hard thorns) to cover His entire scalp. The thorns penetrated the skin, and were driven more and more deeply into his head when He was struck repeatedly. A comedy of mock adoration was played out as the Romans and crowd yelled, roaring with laughter: “Hail, King of the Jews!” Yet, Jesus uttered no rebuke and accepted their vile treatment without response.
Carrying the heavy wooden cross opened severe wounds on His shoulders and more bleeding; He fell three times, breaking His nose, so breathing became almost impossible. Reaching His destination with the help of Simon the Cyrenean, He fell atop His cross. His arms were literally pulled out of their sockets by Roman soldiers to match the holes 9-inch nails would be driven through His wrists and ankles to hold Him fast to the cross. His executioners and the Scribes and Pharisees expected Him to cry and scream from the excruciating pain. They were sure the same man who preached “love your enemies’, and “do good to those who hurt you” would forget His own words and curse them. What they got instead, was “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Forgive the very people who hate and are trying to kill you? Honestly, there’s no way I could.
Then, in that final, terrible moment when He was dying on the cross, taking on all the sins of the world, Jesus cried out like we do when we feel a sense of abandonment: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Questions I have asked “If God is so loving, why is there so much evil? Why didn’t He answer my prayers? Why did God take my Mother after weeks of suffering before she could her me say “I love you” one last time? Why? Jesus stands at the door and knocks, but the latch is on the inside; only we can open it.
For the last three hours on that “Good Friday’, Jesus had been about His Father’s business. His passion and death avail us nothing unless we take up our cross and follow Him. Unless there is a ‘Crown of Thorns’, there will never be a glorified body; unless there is the thirst, there will never be the Heavenly refreshment. Jesus work is finished, but is ours? For unless there is a “Good Friday’ in our lives, there will never be an Easter Sunday.
Norm Beznoska Jr., aka Navyman Norm, is a Strongsville, OH resident . He contributes to the ARRA News Service via articles and Letters to the Editor. Editor's Note: Norm provided this excellent article in 2014 and it is being shared again on this Good Friday - 2016.
Tags: Easter, Good Friday, ARRA News Service, Norm Beznoska, Navyman Norm To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!