Pondering for Friday, April 10th 2020

Daily Office Readings for Good Friday 2020: Year 2

Psalm 95 [for the Invitatory], 22; Psalm 40:1-14 (15-19), 54 Lam. 3:1-9, 19-33; 1 Pet. 1:10-20; John 13:36-38 John 19:38-42

“Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.”  (John 19:39)

Nicodemus finds himself near the beginning of the Gospel of John, in the middle, and at the end like this one for today.  Nicodemus is a secret admirer of Jesus.  But because of his position with the Pharisees he has to be distant and secret.  He almost got in trouble defending Jesus with his fellow authorities. We read in John’s Gospel, “Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”  (John 7:50 – 51) He was quickly jumped on about that question and he backed off.

So Nicodemus is another follower of Jesus who felt shame for not standing up for Jesus. Perhaps this is why he brought well more than enough mixture of myrrh and aloes to anoint his body.  When we act outside of our Christian values we too disown Jesus. We refuse to acknowledge we know and follow him.  Today we remember his crucifixion. This is a very sad thing we did.  I say we as in humanity.  I think God looks upon this act as an example of our ignorance.  For the most part, we still are.  Most theologians believe this was a necessary sacrifice for the atonement for our sins. Because of this sacrifice, we dub today “Good Friday.” I must confess, I have a hard time connecting good and murder together.

For me, our Lord Jesus was born as one of us by the Holy Spirit working through Mary, was raised in Galilee setting the example for how we should live together and teaching and preaching the Good News of the Gospel. He healed the sick, cast out demons, gave sight to the blind, enabled the lame to walk, raised the dead back to life, and most importantly, forgave sins. This latter is something we can all do if we try.  I think forgiving sins is our Lord Jesus’ most important lesson. Perhaps Good Friday is Good for him because he gets to go back to the Father from whence he came, but not before he says good bye to us after his “Resurrection.” (Oops, Spoiler,  I’ve jumped the gun)

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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