After attending the services at our church last night, I am still speechless. Good Friday commemorates perhaps the greatest mystery in the history of the world. How is it that God Himself—the Creator of the Universe—can suffer death at the hands of His creatures?
Last night, our church observed the ancient service of the Twelve Passion Gospels. Though I have participated in this service more than twenty times, I never cease to be amazed—and deeply moved. I am almost always brought to tears, as I contemplate God’s extreme love for us.
The climax of the service comes in the procession of the Cross, right before the reading of the sixth Gospel lesson. The church is completely dark, with the exception of a few candles. Our pastor, carrying a large wooden cross, sings the following hymn during the procession:
Today is suspended upon the Tree He who suspended the land upon the waters. (thrice)
A crown of thorns crowns Him who is the King of the angels.
He is wrapped about with the purple of of mockery, who wrapped the heavens with clouds.
He receives smitings—He who freed Adam in the Jordan.
He is transfixed with nails, who is the Son of the Virgin.
We worship Thy Passion, O Christ. (thrice)
Show us also Thy glorious Resurrection!”
I hope that in the hustle and bustle of this week, you have the opportunity today to stop and reflect on this holy mystery and what it means for your life.
While it may be Friday, Sunday is coming. It was true in Jesus’ life. It will be true in yours. On the other side of suffering and death lies the hope of the Resurrection. This is our expectation and comfort.