We will be taking communion together at the end of today's post.
Passion Week - Good Friday
Good Friday, called this because of an ancient usage of the word “good” as a synonym for holy. (In the same way as the Holy Bible at times is called the “Good Book.”) Holy Friday, indeed.
From Gethsemane, Messiah was led to a mock trial, after which He was beaten mercilessly with a cat-o-nine-tails. This procedure was so brutal that some recipients didn’t survive it. The leather cords, tipped with sharp metal, tore at the flesh of the victim, ripping off pieces of flesh. The beating with its nine cords, delivered 39 times, made a total of 351 lashes. This was barbaric and brutal, not only lacerating the back, but wrapping around to the front of the victim’s body, including the face. It is hard to describe this lashing without being too graphic for most readers. The depiction of the horrific damage in The Passion movie is no exaggeration. Suffice it to say that when finished, the victim was often unrecognizable.
The soldiers also beat Christ with their fists and spat on His face. To mock Him as “the King of the Jews,” a crown made of thorns was placed on His head and pressed into His skin, causing great pain and more loss of blood. When the ordeal was finished, Messiah was so mangled and covered with spittle and blood that He literally was unrecognizable. Isaiah said, “Many people were shocked [astonished; appalled] when they saw him. His appearance was so damaged [disfigured; marred] He did not look like a man; His form was so changed they could barely tell He was human” (Isaiah 52:14 The Expanded Bible). The added punishments and torture, much more than the average victim of crucifixion was afflicted with, can only be explained as the fury of hell, trying to snuff out the life of the Son of God.
Yeshua received this for you and me. Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24 tell us it was through this beating that we can be healed. Place your faith in this today. Receive healing by placing your faith in His substitutionary sacrifice.
Christ was then led to His crucifixion. There are several prophetic references or pictures in the Old Testament pointing to the Cross. One passage of extreme importance is Deuteronomy 21: 22-23, which references one who experienced death by hanging on a tree as being “cursed.” It is abundantly clear from Galatians 3:13 that this verse refers to Jesus hanging on the “tree,” taking our curse. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’”
Yeshua’s crucifixion took place at Golgotha, “the place of the skull.” God, centuries before, had ordained that this would be the place and, with stones and erosion, carved the international symbol of death onto the hillside. This also was the location of Isaac’s interrupted sacrifice (Genesis 22), which pictured the Cross. Like Isaac, we were spared, and God Himself provided the sacrifice. “Then Abraham looked up [lifted his eyes] and saw a male sheep [ram] caught in a bush by its horns. So Abraham went and took the sheep, offering it as a whole burnt offering to God, and his son was saved [in the place of his son]. So Abraham named that place The Lord Provides [or Sees; Hebrew: Yahweh Yireh]. Even today, people say, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided [or seen]’” (Genesis 22:13-14; The Expanded Bible). In this chosen place, high on a hill so all could see the Passover Lamb bearing our shame, God provided the sacrifice for our sins.
Jesus carried His own Cross, though He was able to carry it only part of the way. It was actually the crossbeam that He carried. When He arrived at the place of crucifixion, He was first tied and nailed with spikes to this crosspiece, which contained a hole in the center, enabling it to slide down onto the upright post.
After a victim was tied and nailed to this portion, it was lifted and placed onto the top of the upright section, whereupon it would fall down and slam into place. This is often when dislocations would occur in the crucified person, as the crosspiece slammed down. And indeed, we know this occurred with Christ, as was prophesied of Him in Psalm 22:14. The sliding down of the crosspiece is also why the spikes were placed at the bottom of the hands where they joined the wrist; this placement would sustain more weight. It’s also why the victim was tied to the crossbeam. If they were not secured in this way, they would often be torn loose.
Yeshua hung on the Cross for six hours in this emaciated state. While there, He spoke seven times. Time does not permit me to comment on each of them, but they are all significant. Halfway through the ordeal, at noon, the sun disappeared, and the sky grew dark (Luke 23:44-45). This was a fulfillment of Amos 8: 9-10: “‘It will come about in that day,’ declares the Lord God, ‘That I will make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight. Then I will turn your festivals into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation, and I will bring sackcloth on everyone’s loins, And baldness on every head. And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son, And the end of it will be like a bitter day.’” Surely this is a prophetic picture of the Light of the World being snuffed out for us.
It was at the end of the 3 hours that Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46-47; Mark 15:34) He was quoting from Psalm 22, which is a detailed prophecy of the Cross. Christ was crying out in anguish because, for the first time in all of eternity, He was experiencing separation from His Father. It is also the only record we have of Him addressing God as anything other than Father.
Christ had taken our sins upon Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53.5). Most scholars agree that when this occurred, He bore our separation from the Father, who could no longer look upon Him. Though Jesus no doubt knew this would occur, the actual experience was more than He could endure, and cried out in anguish. It is worth noting that Christ never cried out during the beatings, scourging, thorns, spikes, or dislocations - only when this separation occurred from His Father, as He bore our sin.
Finally, it was enough. The price had been paid. Christ made His final two statements. The first, “It is finished,” I have written of before in the GH15 posts. This was not a statement referencing His death, but a loud declaration by Christ, also a quote from Psalm 22 (verse 31). This decree was one word in Greek (tetelestai) and also in the Hebrew of Psalm 22 (asah). Using the literal meaning of these words, Christ was declaring that He had fully accomplished His assignment, paid our debt in full, and was bringing forth the new creation!
Yeshua then released His spirit to the Father. Death did not take Him, He “yielded up His Spirit” (Matthew 27:50). It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The priests in the Temple were performing their customary duties when, at the very moment Jesus yielded up His Spirit, the veil in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45). The purpose of this veil had been to separate everyone from the Holy of Holies, the dwelling place of God on earth. With this symbolic act, God was declaring that the separation caused by our sin was gone, and we could now enter His presence once again!
Why don’t you spend some time with Him today? He would like that.
Pray with me:
Thank You, Father, for the Cross. Thank You for sending Christ to be our substitute. Thank You for placing our sins upon Him in order to bring us back into Your family. Thank You for allowing the lashes, the wounds, the crown of thorns, and the separation.
And thank You, Jesus, for Your heart of humility and love. You are the Son of Man and Son of God. And through our faith in You, You have made us sons and daughters of the Most High. We are so grateful. Now, by faith, we appropriate all of the cleansing power of Your shed blood, and the healing virtue that flows from every wound You suffered. By Your stripes, we are healed!
And as we prayed yesterday, we do again today: for the glory of Your name and the pleasure of Your heart, send revival to earth. Save a billion or more people in this great revival. Your Father promised You the nations of the earth as Your inheritance - reap them now.
And in remembrance of You and what You did for us on Calvary, we partake of the Communion Table. We take the bread, which was Your body, broken for us - a price paid so we could have eternal life. We take the cup, a representation of your blood, spilled for us, the price paid for our redemption from sin. We give you thanks today, Jesus. We give you thanks.
We decree that the Lamb who was slain has overcome and will forever reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.