Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,

Isaiah 52:13–53:12
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord
Behold, your king! (John 19:14)

Today stands as one of the most somber days of the year: the day we contemplate Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. But rather than just reminiscing or feeling sad and withdrawn, let’s take Pilate’s exhortation literally and behold our King. Let’s join Mary and John at the foot of the cross and fix our gaze on Jesus.

Behold your king! Look at his broken body. See him crowned with thorns. Focus on his hands, his feet, his side. See his love flowing down to us as the blood continues to pour out from his side. Gaze into his eyes, and see the sorrow and the joy on his face: sorrow that our sins have brought him to this point; joy that his Father would raise him up—and raise us with him.

Behold your king! He is not just a ruler from the annals of history. He is not just a distant sovereign king. He is your King. He knows your name. He chose you to be his own, before you were even created. You belong to him. He sees every detail of your life, and he loves you. Hear him announce, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Know that this is a cry of victory. Believe that your king has completed his mission and opened the gates of heaven—for you.

Behold your king! There he is, the King of glory, the One who sustains the universe, hanging on a cross. This king came to serve, not to be served. Mocked and ridiculed, he suffers in silence. He conquers not with armies but through sacrifice. He delights in showing mercy, not vengeance. Gaze upon him, and see the Son of God offering his life for the sins of the world—for your sins.

On this holy day, try to set aside some extra time to be with Jesus. Your parish probably has a special celebration of the Stations of the Cross today. Join in if you can. Let the Stations show you what Jesus did for you. Fix your eyes on the crown of thorns, the nails, his side. As you do, behold your King, and let his sacrifice move your heart. Offer him your love, your trust, and your obedience.

“Jesus, my King, thank you for dying for me. I love you.”

Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania

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