It is Good Friday. It is the day that Jesus died. We learned about Good Friday last Sunday, and we read this whole chapter with the children. The children got to hear the full story of Jesus’ trial and execution. A lot of times, we focus a lot of our attention on the crucifixion, but as we read in this passage, the nailing and hanging Jesus on the cross is not elaborated. The majority of the passage talks about what people were doing to and around Jesus.
There were some outrage from the children when reading about Jesus’s trial. There was no reason for Jesus to be killed. Jesus has done nothing wrong. Why are people shouting for Jesus to be crucified? The passage shows the reason very clearly. It is because, Jesus is king of the Jews.
He is beaten up, mocked and finally crucified, because Jesus is the king of the Jews. Just a few days ago, Jesus was riding on a donkey as king of peace, but is now mocked mercilessly by the people. They jeer him to save himself. How can somebody who saves other can’t even save himself? What kind of king is he? Again, he is not a king that people recognize. They thought the Messiah will be triumphant and victorious against overthrowing the Romans, but Jesus is being executed by the Romans.
As we have read for the past 40 days, this is what Jesus came to do. This is the true Messiah to save us. Jesus cries out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me,” and this phrase also shows that this was always his plan. Jesus is quoting Psalm 22:1, and if you have time, I would recommend reading the whole Psalm 22. It is amazing. Jesus is not crying this out of defeat. He is crying this, because he is still faithful to the mission. Jesus is turning our hearts back to God.
When Jesus died, the thick veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple is torn. Jesus’s death was the final and complete sacrifice for God. He is utterly being rejected by God and receiving God’s judgement. For Jesus who has been one with his Father from eternity, this rejection and judgement is infinite suffering. But it had to be done for us. Now the veil is torn, so we can be in God’s presence and fully “know” God.
The children ask why this day is called “Good” Friday, when it is horrible day that Jesus died. It is a very good question. I pray that we can all think about it and understand why it was good.