Today we commemorate Christ’s agony and death and hear his words spoken from the cross – words of abandonment and thirst but also of forgiveness, promise, comfort, and fulfilment. How do these words speak to you? How do they impact you and make the cross of Christ and his suffering impact your life?
Luke 23:33 – 34: When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots to divide his clothing.
Luke 23:39 – 43: 39: One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’
Mark 15:33 – 34: When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’
John 19:28 – 30: After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Almighty God, send your blessing upon all who devoutly recalled the death of your Son in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection. Grant them pardon; bring them comfort. May their faith grow stronger and their eternal salvation be assured. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.