GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 15TH
A TIME OF BLESSING
On this Good Friday, we sadly gather around Jesus to hear of his last hours on earth.
Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with me. When we came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified me there with the criminals, one on my right and one on my left.
He pauses for a moment, taking a deep breath, then continues…
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding me and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” I replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:32-33, 39-43, NRSV, revised*)
As you sit quietly with Jesus at your side, reflecting on his words, is there anything you would like to ask him? What final words of blessing would you like to say to him?
Even as he is painfully and slowly dying, Jesus gives yet another blessing. He promises this criminal that he will soon be with Jesus in paradise. Even in his darkest terrible moment, Jesus never stops loving, never stops forgiving, never stops giving hope to us all.
Thank you, Jesus.
*The name of Jesus and his pronouns have been adapted by Karen into first-person.