Once upon a time, there was a light that shone so brightly, a fire that burned so pure and true. It illuminated all things, turning night into day and opening eyes so they could see. Everyone was amazed that this should be. “Is this light real?” they asked. “How can the light brighten our darkness, when the light cannot brighten itself?”
We – humanity – nailed this light to the cross because he was the Son of God, then tempted him to come down to prove he was the Son of God.
“As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! ... Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him”, “for He said, “I am the Son of God”. (Jn19:6-8, Mt 27:43)
But Jesus continued to shine the most vivid of colours, a bold and brilliant blood red. He was the light of the world, and nothing, no darkness would consume him.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” “ I am the light of the world”. “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (Jn 1:4,5, Jn 8:12, Jn 9:5)
On the cross, he was still in the world. He was still the light of the world. The darkness of the prince(archon) of the world (Lk 22:53, Jn 14:30) still could not extinguish this Light.
We – humanity – tortured him, humiliated him and taunted him. (Mt 27:28-31, Jn 19:1-5). Yet, he showed us the love of God and persevered on the cross to make his death a success. Jesus was triumphant in death, because he died, as God Who had become a Man, for the very first time!
We denied his gospel, his miracles and how he fulfilled every facet of Isaiah’s prophecy
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free…. Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”, he announced. (Lk 4:18,21 cf. Isa 61:1)
Yet, Jesus never forsook us and never forsook God. He knowingly proclaimed the strength and glory of God through David’s own Psalm 22, crying out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This was the greatest of cries he chose to make, as a man, tying together his heritage as the Son of David with our salvation as the Son of God. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” marked not the end of the road but the hope of a new beginning, so that “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord….. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!”
He kept faith with God and man. He chose to be “obedient until death, even the death of the cross”. He chose to remain on the cross to prove that he was truly Son of man and Son of God.
“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father,” Jesus declared, and few who gathered to scorn him on the cross saw and recognized the vast outpouring of God’s love for us, in life and in death.
At his crucifixion, it fell to a citizen of the occupying power, a Roman centurion, to see and proclaim: “Truly this man was the Son of God.” (Mk15:39)
What a paradox. A foreigner, a gentile, saw what God’s own chosen people could not, would not see, as His only beloved Son hung and died at the cross.
God never forsook Jesus.
“For He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” (Ps 22:24)
Rather, we – humanity - are the ones who think(esteem) that he was smitten and oppressed of God. (Isa 53:4)
“My Father and I are One”, he had declared again and again. The I Am, was, is and ever will be the Triune One.
In the outpouring of God’s love towards us, Father and Spirit was with Son, jointly participating with him in all of his experiences, as a man, on the cross, even the feelings of being forsaken by God, as is common with us.
This is how the love of God is revealed in us: God has sent his only Son into the world so that we can live through him. (1 Jn 4:9)
God will never leave nor forsake us.
As He was with Jesus, at all times, even on the cross, God is with us, for Father loves us as much as He loves His Son. (Jn 17:23)
This is the Light and Love of the Heart of God that makes every day a glorious and marvellous Good Friday.
“He is there, wherever you are,
No matter what you do, He is always there with you.
So take His hand and share in His great love, for,
He is always there, with you.”
Come Holy Spirit, Come.