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Christ's Crucifixion, the highest point in His earthly Mission

Commemorating Christ’s Crucifixion, Celebrating Life

Great Friday

The Lord sent His only-begotten son into the world. Christ became flesh. He took baptism and shared all the hardships and pains of the human condition. On Great and Holy Friday, we commemorate the end of this mission on earth and its highest point: His death on the Cross. He surrendered His soul to the Lord with the words, “It is finished”. He poured His life unto death, bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12).

It appeared as is if all the forces of evil were in triumph on the day of His death. As the evangelists report, "there was darkness over all the land.” An unjust trial handed Him His death sentence. He was stripped, mocked and beaten. He carried His cross to the place of His execution. His executioners nailed him to the cross between two robbers. They gave him nothing but bitter vinegar to drink and laid a wreath of thorns on His head. He endured many hours of excruciating pain.

Finally, when taken off the Cross, he was put in the tomb of another man.

The Jews and the Gentiles alike passed the death sentence for the innocent Christ. The charges against them were religious and secular, but underlying them were the selfish motivations, personal ambitions and sinful passions of the judges and the crowd. Humanity was still unprepared to leave its past ways of sin. Most could not break with the false sense of righteousness, power and security offered by the world and exposed by Christ so evidently in His earthly ministry.

Thousands of years later, the human condition has changed little and broadly speaking, we still participate in Christ's death sentence.

Yet the services of Great and Holy Friday still convey a strong message of joy and hope. Its hymns call us to rejoice in His ultimate love. His gift of life was an act of ultimate love, and so was His voluntary death on the Cross. Concluding the darkness of the long day of Christ’s crucifixion, we proclaim His rise on the third day, to “trample down death by death”.

May 03, 2024
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