THE FINAL MOMENTS
Jesus was arrested late Thursday night, remained in custody until Friday morning, and then on Friday afternoon, after His trial, He was crucified. Before sundown, He was removed from the cross and buried in the tomb of a man named Joseph of Arimathea. Christ followers remembered well what happened while Jesus was on the cross since there were many eyewitnesses that day. Jesus spoke numerous words and each has been studied carefully. Perhaps the most famous words are those reported by Luke: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 ESV). This is a fulfillment of His frequent teaching: “I say to you, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’” (Matthew 5:44 ESV). On the cross, He forgave and loved even those who were hostile to Him.
We know as Christians, we should love our enemies as Jesus did. But there is more here. Not infrequently, we know we are often disgruntled disciples, angry with God because of something that has happened and we wonder if these attitudes separate us from Jesus’ love. Jesus forgave those who crucified him. He does the same for us.
- The shock of Jesus’ arrest and death begins our season of grief in Holy Week. In some parts of the world, Christians wear black on Good Friday as a private, personal reminder. These are our grief clothes for Jesus.
- Attend worship tonight at one of two services in the Main Auditorium at South Barrington (5 or 7:30 p.m.), or attend a service at any of the regional campuses. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
- For remembering: “And over His head they put the charge against Him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’” Matthew 27:37 (ESV)
By Dr. Gary M Burge professor of New Testament at Wheaton College
Go to Holy Week Devotions Page