Lent

Good Friday: An Unconditional, Unending Love

Good Friday: An Unconditional, Unending Love

The story of the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus takes my breath away.  I am, of course, struck by the brutality, and when I think of the crown of thorns, I imagine it must have been something like being caught in the sharpest cactus. But I also think of the people caught in the drama about to unfold.

I feel a sense of compassion for Pontius Pilate, who was trapped in a position of power that left him no choice but to do what he had tried so hard not to do. I wonder if, when Judas understood he had been used to help kill this man he had loved so, did his heart break? When Peter realized what he had done, did he fall to his knees and sob?   

And then I look at Jesus. I imagine his loving countenance. He remained the shepherd. He took care of his mother. He assured the thief on the cross. And, to his dying breath, he loved and forgave all those who had crucified him. He loves us through unending, unconditional agape love. 

Father, forgive them!
Father, forgive them!
Father, forgive them – for they don’t know what they’re doing.

He walked among them
And he loved them;
Yet he knew all along how it would be.

Judas would betray Him;
Turn him in to be killed.
Peter would deny him in the end.

Pilate tried to save him,
But the crowd turned against him.
"What evil has he done?", Pilate said.
"I find no wrong in these things he has done.
I will chastise him, but please set him free."

Then they stripped him,
They whipped him,
And they killed him.

But he loved them.
He forgave them.
And he prayed for them.

Father, I love them!
Father, I love them!
Father, I love them – can they see how much I have loved them?

Where would I have been? What would I have done? What is God calling me to do now?


Kathy Schock is spiritual growth coordinator for Desert Southwest Conference United Methodist Women.

 

Posted or updated: 4/16/2019 12:00:00 AM
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