Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Good Friday Reflection

(I took this picture at the Grand Canyon in May 2006)


Scriptural Text: Luke 22:7-8, 14-23 (NLT)
A Reflection By Jim Taylor

7 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover Lambs were sacrificed. 8Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, "Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together."
14Then at the proper time Jesus and the twelve apostles sat down together at the table. 15Jesus said, "I have looked forward to this hour with deep longing, anxious to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16For I tell you now that I won’t eat it again until it comes to fulfillment in the Kingdom of God."
17Then he took a cup of wine, and when he had given thanks for it, he said, "Take this and share it among yourselves. 18For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come."
19Then he took a loaf of bread; and when he had thanked God for it, he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20After supper he took another cup of wine and said, "This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you—an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.
21"But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. 22For I, the Son of Man, must die since it is part of God’s plan. But how terrible it will be for my betrayer!" 23Then the disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.

(Jesus Speaking) My final hours descend upon me. I crave to exhaust them with my friends—to be close to them, to hear their voices, to share one more meal. I need them with me before the suffering begins. Later, I’ll … pray.

I welcome John’s easy way of loving me. Delight! Unsolicited, Judas eyes me with impatience and displeasure—betrayal lurking in his glance. Grief! The contrast is stark and severe. Sorrow pierces my heart. Terror is contained in this moment. Doubts linger like shadows at the edges of my mind. Beneath the crust of my conviction, there is uncertainty.

I seize the symbols at hand (a cup of wine, some bread) and reveal the hope of a present-future of healing grace. My body will be broken; my blood poured out. My Father will unmask all the violence and injustice and hatred by a willing sacrifice—smothering evil by absorbing it with love! Remember this!

I must die. There is no surprise. I yearn to overcome the dread. My dearly cherished friends will abandon me. Alone! Judas is not the first to betray me—nor the last. I caution Peter in vain. Each must discern that mercy is the imperative in redemption, not righteousness. Have I made it obvious to them? Maybe, if I had more time …

I can feel the anguish, like a volcano of pain, expanding from somewhere deep within me. I can’t prevent myself, erupting, "One of you will betray me!" It’s one last chance for Judas. I wish he’d drop his guard and let me in. Why not?! My complete desire is to love him! It’s too late. My heart is ripping in two. If only there was another way. My body broken … my blood poured out.

Soothingly, I become aware of my Father’s heart in mine. I’ll try again, "I’m giving you a new command: As I have loved you, love each other. This will prove to the world that you are my disciples." An impression forms subconsciously: there is no greater love than to give your life for another …

Prayer: You were broken and poured out … for us … for me!—all our sin absorbed by Your love. Now, we are free! I’m on my knees because I thirst for Your holy presence living in me. You are my daily bread. You sustain me. Enlarge my heart that I may be broken and poured out for another.

Suggested Activity: Share in the Lord’s Supper with someone. Do this to remember Him.

1 comment:

Matt Brock said...

Circumstance has somehow made this Easter has somehow been meaningful for me. Thanks for adding to that!