Good Friday & Holy Saturday Meditations
We go on a journey here. Starting from the aftermath of Palm Sunday to the trial and ultimately the crucifixion of Jesus. Let's stop at some mileposts along the way and reflect on some of the significant points along that journey.
Milepost 1: Palm Sunday - We are all different but God meets us all.
Cast your mind back to last week, Palm Sunday, and think about the characters and people who were there. Imagine you were there.
Some of us are confident, some powerful, some unseen, some down trodden, some of us identify with the excited crowd cheering for Jesus, some identify with the fearful priests, some the ones who are swept away by the jubilation of palm Sunday and some have too many worries to care about such matters. But God knows us all and loves us all.
Listen to this piece of music.Think about who you identify with in the story of the passion.
Milepost 2: Driving out the moneylenders - Worldly power, God’s power
Here we remember how Jesus was angry and frustrated with the money lenders in the Temple. There are many issues in the world today that bring up such anger and frustration. The way we treat our world and steward its resources, the unfairness and injustice whether at home or abroad, the lack of clean water and decent sanitation for so many people, the lack of food and health provision, the migration of millions who are fleeing conflict or poverty.
As you listen to this piece of music, think about what makes you angry about the state of the world right now.
Milepost 3: The last supper - Communion
We are all invited to the Table, this act of remembrance of the Last Supper, no matter how often we fall short. Lets think of the times we have denied God in our lives through the way we have thought, spoken or acted.
Soon after breaking bread and drinking the wine, Jesus goes to the garden of Gethsemane with disciples to pray. Lets meditate on God’s Grace.
Milepost 4: Judas betrays Jesus - Guilt and Regret
Judas hands Jesus over to the authorities. No matter how secretive Judas tried to be there was no hiding from God.
Lord we have all sinned, we all have regrets and we spend this time now with You acknowledging this reality.
As you listen, offer to God those things that you regret.
Milepost 5: The trial of Jesus - God’s Plan
Here was Jesus’s chance to speak plainly to the High priest, to set the record straight, to be direct and transparent. However against the false accusations Jesus is silent. When challenged ‘Tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God’ Jesus replies "You have said it."
So often we want the world to be orderly, clear and easy to follow, but it is not, it is messy and hard to understand. This is however God’s plan, God was in total control of the situation, the trial by the High Priests, the trial by Pontius Pilate, the frenzy of the crowd, the behaviour of the soldiers.
When circumstances are tough and things are falling apart, help us God to stop and listen to You, to be attentive to Your plan when we are tempted to ask "why?".
Milepost 6: The last words - It is Finished.
The plan has run its course, Adam Hamilton writes: "These last words are seen as a cry of victory, not of dereliction. Jesus had now completed what he came to do. A plan was fulfilled; a salvation was made possible; a love shown. He had taken our place. He had demonstrated both humanity's brokenness and God's love. He had offered himself fully to God as a sacrifice on behalf of humanity.
As you listen to the following music, think about how He has has borne our griefs.
Milepost 7: What is God’s plan for us? What is our part?
The thunder was deafening, and then it went dark as though in the middle of night. Everyone was was terrified. Everyone thought God must have wrenched the sun from the sky and was about to destroy all.
The centurion standing by the cross said ‘Truly this was a man of God’ and that scared the pants off some of his soldiers. Men who had earlier beaten and mocked Jesus now fell to their knees and begged for mercy and forgiveness.
Then gradually the storm calmed and the light came back.
It's all quiet now. Imagine you are there, just after the crucifixion has come to it's conclusion. What do you think is coming next?
Milepost 8: The hope of Salvation
There is nothing more we can do now but wait and hope that something good happens.
As we finish, listen to the music. Consider the hope and anticipation as we await Easter morning.