Pondering for Friday, April 7, 2023

Lessons appointed for use on Good Friday: All Years RCL

Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25;; or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42

“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. 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 the crucifixion of Jesus. 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, 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 at his “Resurrection.” (Oops, I’ve jumped the gun)

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Russia and our school children.

 “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom. 

What is Shabbat? Intro to the Jewish Sabbath – YouTube

As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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