Good Friday: Lenten Devotional Series 2020

God’s Plan by Christin Wallace

It’s crazy to think that Jesus knew what was coming and yet he still went through with it even though it was unwarranted and incredibly hard and painful. It’s truly wild to me. There are very few things that I would knowingly go through that are hard and painful.

Jesus did this with such honor and grace. He did not concern himself with things of the world but had his eyes set on greater things than that. His eyes were set on the plan that God had laid out for him. He knew who he was and what was going to happen to him but he still did his part and lead many to believe in him. He saved humanity and brought goodness and so much acceptance to a world filled with so much evil and hate.

What is interesting is that Pilate said “What I have written I have written.” This is interesting because in a weird way, he is saying that he knows who Jesus was. Others wanted it to say that Jesus claimed to be the king of the Jews but instead Pilate allowed it to be known who Jesus was. Jesus was more than just the King of the Jews. Yes he was a Jew but he created a new religion; one that saves us just by believing in the Lord and Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for our sins. No works, no sacrifices, no nothing other than having belief in the goodness of the Lord to save us.

What is horrifying to me is knowing that his mother and closest friends were watching him. I would never want to watch my dogs, who I love dearly, die let alone a close friend or family member. The fact that there were many witnesses to this horrible death is astounding to me. I couldn’t bear to watch it, especially not if I knew the teachings of Jesus and believed in what he was saying.

All of this though was to fulfill scripture that was written, which is the craziest part to me. Knowing that God had this clear plan laid forth for Jesus’ life and everything down to what happened to his clothing was predicted in scripture. That leaves me in awe. More than that though, if God had a plan for Jesus and that is played out so clearly in front of us in scripture, how much more do I believe in God and God’s plan for all of humanity and each one of our lives. I am quick to say that sure God cared about Jesus, but why would he care about me. And then I remember, we are all children of God. God is our parent. God only wants good things for us, but allows us to go through hard times to grow and learn more about God’s love. It is comforting to sit on that truth and realize that while the plan God has for my life may be out of my control, it is in the hands of someone who is more powerful, sovereign, loving, and so much more than me. Every struggle and hardship we go through in life is needed to teach us more about the goodness and love of God.

John 19:17-37

So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.'” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.