Holy Week 2022: Good Friday

And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. And they laid hands on him and seized him. But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” And they all left him and fled.

And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

Mark 14:43–50, 66-72

A small army came to arrest Jesus, and with a word, Jesus could have destroyed them all, but he remained. As he was surrounded and taken away, Scripture was fulfilled that sheep would scatter, and he was alone. In his loneliness, he humbly obeyed God’s plan as it unfolded. The plan that included abandonment those closest to him. While Jesus was accused, and while contradictory testimonies offered during an illegal Jewish trial, and while Peter sought the warmth and comfort of withdrawal, Jesus kept silent, not mounting a defense. His accusers refused to stop hurling insults, but Jesus’ wise words and conduct proved his innocence and lasting power. He endured lashes, punches, betrayal, humiliation, and darkness for those who would rather be anywhere but with him. Until his last breath, Jesus was unmoved. 

As darkness sets in and circumstances overwhelm us, are we unmoved? We say God is still on the throne but is that where we stand, or are we hiding and warming ourselves by the fire complacency? Jesus’ allegiance to the Father shows us through it all that being one of the crowd doesn’t work, but keeping our eyes on the truth is what sustains and keeps us unmoved. We may not understand the darkness that surrounds us at times, but that doesn’t mean a good, sovereign Father isn’t working a good and perfect plan. That plan was to put his son to death in our place. Jesus knew this. His eyes were set on the unseen. Today, ours can be, too.

Questions for Reflection

  1. What hard, painful, or difficult circumstances are attempting to take your eyes off of the eternal?
  2. How does the fact that Jesus willingly went to the cross to pay the price for your sins enable you to endure difficulty?
  3. What steps can you take to keep your heart trusting God’s plan in the midst of hardship?