On Good Friday, we Catholics remember the death of Jesus who sacrificed himself on the cross to redeem us from our sins; he also prepared for the last supper with his beloved disciples.
Even though Jesus knew that his own disciple, Judas was going to betray him, he accepted his fate and had the courage to follow God’s will. During the last supper, Jesus gives us his Body and his Blood.
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. (Luke 22: 17-20)
Jesus gives the reassurance that he will always be with us through the Eucharist and when he died for us on Good Friday, he went to prepare us homes in heaven where we will experience eternal salvation with Jesus.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14: 6)
When I got up on the morning of Good Friday, it was raining heavily and there was distant rumblings of thunder which cast a sombre air over the day. In the passion of Christ, I noticed that there are characters and situations that can be applied to today’s context.
Pilate knew that Jesus had done nothing wrong and was anxious to set him free, but due to immense pressure from the crowd, Pilate succumbed to the crowd’s demands and exchanged Jesus, an innocent person, for a murderer, Barabbas. Politics come into mind and it affects people’s decisions. We must not allow our thinking and judgement to be clouded by people’s views but let our own conscience guide us.
Jesus being the innocent party suffered extreme physical, emotional and mental pain during his passion. Despite this, he bore it with patience and resilience even going through anguish by having to be nailed to the cross. I was also moved by Jesus’ words towards his mother Mary who was helpless and had to endure watching her own son be put to death.
When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19: 26-27)
Even moments from death, Jesus still took care of those who loved him, so he will take care of us in our time of sickness and trials. Forgiveness is also a strong aspect of Jesus; he forgave the repentant robber who was also crucified with Jesus.
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”(Luke 23: 43)
Jesus must have felt the weight of our sins, our pain and struggles from temptation. By dying on the cross, Jesus showed us that we can turn away from sin by reaching out to him no matter the circumstances. We can fight temptations and evil with the Lord’s help!
In death, Jesus’s promise was felt where people had the sudden realization that he was the messiah and that when the soldier pierced Jesus with the lance, blood and water came out symbolizing the eternal love and life that Jesus promised us.
Jesus’s final resting place after being taken down was in a tomb in a garden. The garden symbolizes the garden that Adam and Eve resided in. Jesus became the new Adam and this marked a new beginning of the much anticipated resurrection of Jesus on the third day.
The events of Good Friday seemed parallel to my experiences in my intense national service training before I become operationally-ready. I experienced physical pain from the training and tiredness. It was emotionally and mentally draining as there was little rest time and many activities to be done for the day. However, I have been praying for Jesus’s guidance and the determination to continue 4 more weeks of training. Though the cross is heavy, I know that Jesus is also carrying it with me and he will make it lighter.
I am thankful also for the long weekend where I can find the time to rest and be away from regimental camp life. As the hymn “Near the Cross” goes ” Jesus, keep me near the cross,There a precious fountain.Free to all, a healing stream, Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain. The chorus goes, “In the cross, in the cross,Be my glory ever, Till my raptured soul shall find, Rest beyond the river. ” I will find rest in prayer and trust in the Lord to endure 4 more weeks.
As we wait for Jesus’s resurrection and the celebration of Easter which marks a joyous occasion, this hymn “Song of the Body of Christ” sums up the anticipation of Jesus conquering death and sin.” Chorus: We come to share our story.
“We come to break the bread.We come to know our rising from the dead.” We are called to heal the broken, to be hope for the poor.We are called to feed the hungry at our door.Bread of life and cup of promise, In this meal we all are one.In our dying and our rising, may your kingdom come.”
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong