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March 25, 2016

12th week 5th day: Good Friday

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)
Good Friday occurs two days before Easter Sunday, and commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ following his triumphal re-entrance into Jerusalem. Many church services are held in the afternoon, usually around noon or midday to 3pm, to remember the hours when Jesus hung on the cross. What Do People Do? Some Christians may attend special church services or prayer vigils. Some treat Good Friday as a day of fasting. Some homes keep a quiet atmosphere, with little or no outside activities and limited television, radio, and computer use. Some people bake hot cross buns, made of leavened dough, to which sugar, currants and spices have been added. The top of the bun is marked with a cross.
Let us read the One year Bible New Testament passage and remember what Jesus had spoken while He was on earth on other days, carrying out His ministry. The reading is Luke 5:29-6:11. I have quoted some verses from this passage. My notes are in bold letters and italics.
Jesus spoke of His purpose on earth: Contrary to social classes and religious discrimination, He came to meet the needs of those who need Him, the sick (and poor), the sinners (in terms of professions). Those who are generally avoided and/or rejected by the society at large. He came for them. He called them to Him. Because God has no favor where healing and salvation are concerned. It is ironical that the lowly individuals became blessed by God instead of those who considered themselves more worthy and deserving. 
31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician,but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Then Jesus spoke of the purpose of fasting: Fasting is all about relationship – between the individual and God. The church and Jesus. The bridegroom and the bride. 
34 And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.”
No words can fully describe the suffering that our Lord Jesus had gone through on the cross. Psalm 22 does give us a glimpse of how the suffering must have been felt and the prophecies of Jesus fulfilled.
Psalm 22 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Suffering, Praise, and Posterity of the Messiah

To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Deer of the Dawn.”[a] A Psalm of David.

22 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.
But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
“He trusted[b] in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
11 Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13 They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced[c] My hands and My feet;
17 I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.
19 But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20 Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!
You have answered Me.
22 I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
25 My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!
27 All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.[d]
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s,
And He rules over the nations.
29 All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.
30 A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 22:1 Hebrew Aijeleth Hashahar
  2. Psalm 22:8 Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read hoped; Targum readspraised.
  3. Psalm 22:16 Following some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Masoretic Text reads Like a lion.
  4. Psalm 22:27 Following Masoretic Text, Septuagint, and Targum; Arabic, Syriac, and Vulgate read Him.

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