Lord Jesus understood that it was time to fulfill the desires of the Father in Heaven. It meant it was time for His crucifixion. John 16:16, 16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
John 17:1, After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.
Luke 9:44-45, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
1) The Last Supper of Jesus: On the day of the Last Supper, Jesus sat down with His disciples for the supper together. Before they had eaten, Jesus washed and dried the feet of all His disciples. It is only then that they ate. Jesus fully knew what was about to happen. He said to His disciples that one of them will betray Him tonight. The disciples were disturbed on hearing this and kept asking, “Is it me?”. Lord said to them it is the one who dips his hand in the chalice with me. When Judas asked, “Is it me?”, Jesus answered, ” Yes, it is you.” Hearing this, Satan entered his heart. Even after His teacher had given him a warning he did not mend his ways. Judas went straight to Chief priest Caiphas and betrayed Jesus for mere 30 pieces of silver.
Words of Jesus at the Last Supper: Luke 22:19-20, 19 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.” 20 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. After this Jesus went to Gethsemane with His disciples to pray. Luke 22:44, 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Being tired the disciples slept instead of praying. So Jesus asked the disciples to be vigilant and keep praying for strength.
2) Jesus is arrested: As soon as Jesus’s prayer got over, Judas came to the garden with some soldiers to arrest Jesus. As decided earlier as a sign of recognition, Judas kissed Jesus to identify Him to the soldiers. Apostle Peter followed behind when Jesus was arrested. He wanted to see what they would do to his teacher. This following led him to deny knowing Jesus three times just as Jesus had said. One person betrayed, another denied knowing Him, and the rest 10 ran away for their lives.
Mathew 26:31, 31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Jesus has taught us that there is no greater love than giving up your life for the one you love. But all that He taught has vanished over the years. Jesus didn’t see familiar faces that loved or cared for Him.
3) Jesus is questioned: Jesus is brought up in front of Hign priest Caiphas, high officials, and Pontius Pilate as a common criminal. Pilate wanted to let go of Jesus. Pilate’s wife sent him a message through a messenger, Matthew 27:19: 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” Despite his best efforts, Pilate could not help Jesus because the high priests and officials out of jealousy had bribed and influenced a group of people to accuse Jesus wrongly. The mob shouted together to crucify Jesus. When Pilate saw that his efforts were going in vain and the crowd was becoming louder and unruly he decided to flog Jesus and have Him crucified.
4)Jesus is tortured: The soldiers stripped Jesus of His clothes. They made him wear a red robe. They had decided to mock and ridicule Jesus. They fashioned a crown made out of thorns and placed staff in His hands. Then they bent down before Him and mocked Him saying, ‘Hail to the king’. They struck the crown of thorns on His head with a rod. they spit on His holy face. they blindfolded Him and hit Him. Then they asked Him to prophecize who among them had hit Him. They flogged Him repeatedly till flesh began to fall off at places. After they had tortured and mocked Him they made Him carry the cross meant to crucify Him to the Mount of Golgotha. Jesus was exhausted from the physical and mental torture. Unable to bear the weight of the cross He was carrying He fell down thrice on the way. The Romans had wanted to crucify Jesus alive. So, they made Simon a passerby carry the cross to Golgotha.
The way He was crucified goes like this. To crucify Him, they threw His body on the cross. First, they nailed His right hand and then His left hand. Then they placed the cross into a hole dug beforehand for the cross to stand. The legs were then pulled down onto a ledge for the legs and then nailed. The manner in which the legs are pulled makes the whole body weight pulled down hanging by the nails on the hand. This causes excessive bleeding and rupture of veins in the body which led to internal bleeding as well.
The death at the cross after a few hours. The pain experienced by Lord Jesus due to the nails cannot be experienced nor be put into words. Many times the blood stopped flowing and formed clots. Those who did not die from bleeding on the cross were killed by breaking the bones in their legs. After breaking the bones in the legs of the two thieves convicted along with Jesus, the Roman soldiers reached to do the same with Jesus. He had died by the time they reached Him.
We have just read about the suffering and torture of Jesus. Every year, Good Friday comes and goes. Several retreats, prayers, and sermons take place around that time. The number of people who cry thinking of the Lord’s suffering is not less. We too should bear the pain and cry in the knowledge that each one of us is responsible for the pain and crucifixion of Christ. He paid the price for saving our souls. Can we pray like this, Dear Lord, please forgive me my transgressions.
Isaiah 53:4-12, 4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
No matter how many tears we shed it is not enough to repay for our sins. The Lord taught us even at the cross with the thief that if one confesses and repents from his sins even at his last moment the Lord will save his soul. There is no sin in temptation alone. It becomes sin when we give it a place in our heart and mind and also act upon the temptation. Dear children of God, at the time of temptation, look up at the cross and remember that He bore the burden of our sins. Let us all make a firm decision that we will not add further blows to the nails placed on His hands and feet. This should be our penance every Good Friday.