Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ “- John 19:28

One can only imagine the personal sufferings of Jesus on the cross. There is trauma on a number of levels. Jesus suffered sleep deprivation, the trauma of four trials; three Jewish and one Roman.  For a period of roughly twenty-four hours, he was beaten flogged; spat upon, humiliated and mocked. Jesus shows us that there is human suffering on the cross as he cries His fifth word: "I thirst!"

In our day and time, we strive to alleviate pain. We can do this with continuous dosages of morphine. The Romans of Jesus' day the focus was on inflicting pain and making a science out of it. Once I remember a twenty-six year old medical school resident at the Indiana University medical center telling a parent not to trust any pain medication older than him.  Modern man is fixated on relieving pain. At the time of Christ, the Romans spent decades perfecting the craft of human torture through the art and craft of crucifixion. As Jesus cried from the cross "I thirst" He was ravaged by extreme physical pain.

Fulfilled prophecy authenticates Christ.  If Jesus were to fail in any of the clear Old Testament prophecies, which predict what the Son of God would do, Jesus would be considered a fake, a fraud, a false Christ. Yet because prophecy has been fulfilled, we can say with Thomas "Jesus you alone are my Lord and my God!"

These words spoken from the cross: "I thirst" shows the extent of Jesus' human suffering. It helps us endure our own hurts and pains and authenticates Christ as our one and only Messiah - the Savior of the world.

Almighty God, graciously behold this Your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, to be given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death on the cross; who now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld ©WELS
Collect for Good Friday, LUTHERAN WORSHIP © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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