Friday 14th April 2017 - Daily Reading:
Matthew 27:45-56 - Paid in Full! By Karen Cowling

Jesus was arrested in the garden and he was betrayed by a kiss. A sign of respect turned into a sign of death. Judas had come with a large number of guards, the fear of what Jesus could do was real for them. Yet he did not argue, instead he walked with them calmly. Peter tries to protect Jesus and ended up cutting the ear off the High Priest servant.

Jesus is then taken before the Sanhedrin in a trial that consists of false accusations and a preconceived idea of what the verdict should be. He is then handed over to the Romans and comes before Pilot. Pilot could '...find no basis for charge against him' (Matt 18:38b)

Yet Pilot had him flogged. The soldiers made a twisted crown and clothed him in purple. They laughed at him as they beat him. Then when he was eventually placed up on a cross with the nails through his hands, a sign saying: 'The King of the Jews' was put up. He was mocked by those who had come to watch the execution: 'He saved others,' they said, 'but he canít save himself! Heís the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.' (Matt 27:42)

Jesus could have just got down, but he didn't. As we looked at yesterday, he was determined to see the plan through. There was no turning back. Most of his disciples had fled, and only a handful of women, and John, stood to watch the man they thought would save them die an agonising death on the cross.

At about 3 in the afternoon, Jesus looked up, and called out: 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?' (which means My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?). (Matt 27:46)

The sky turned black, as God turned his face away. The awesome magnitude of what had happened shook the earth, it split rocks, raised the dead from tombs and tore the curtain of the Holy of Holies in two from top to bottom. God had broken the divide between himself and man because the debt had been paid.

It was finished! Now that is a Good Friday!!

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