Friday, March 29, 2013

A Prayer for Good Friday

     Lord, I am checking my watch all day today.  When I wake up, I remember that at 6am, Jesus faced a mock trial, was treated cruelly, yet took it all peacefully.  By mid-morning, Jesus’ wrists and ankles were gashed and shattered by iron nails, the cross slammed into the ground; the snide snickering of onlookers began.  Lord, we cannot even imagine the pain, or his mother’s grief.  At noon the sky grew eerily dark; then at 3pm Jesus breathed his last.

     We ponder that old hymn, “What wondrous love is this?” – and the profound words of the prophet Isaiah: He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Surely he has borne our grief, and carried our sorrows.  He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, with his stripes we are healed.  He was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth, like a lamb led to the slaughter; they made his grave with the wicked, although he had done no violence (Isaiah 53).

     Help me, Lord, to comprehend your glory in the crucifixion.  Forgive me for my rebellious spirit, and my failure to live as someone Jesus died for.  We praise you for entering into our mortality, so we never suffer alone. 

     Keep my eyes fixed on the cross, all day today – and every day.  “Beneath the cross of Jesus, I fain would take my stand… O safe and happy shelter… From my stricken heart with tears two wonder I confess: the wonders of redeeming love, and my unworthiness.  Content to let the world go by, to know no gain or loss, my sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.”  In the holy name of our crucified Lord Jesus, Amen.