It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1)
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28-30)
On this 39th day of our 40-day journey, we arrive at a pivotal point in history. Our focus this year has been on challenges. Certainly, the death of Jesus, which Good Friday commemorates, addresses the greatest challenge of humanity – our separation from God.
Let’s quickly catch up on where we have been so far this week and then return to the events of Good Friday. We have been considering qualities of Jesus that make him the best port of call when we face challenges. In doing so, we have focused on qualities Jesus exhibited in the days leading up to his death and resurrection. On Monday, we saw that Jesus Cares. On Tuesday, we saw that Jesus knows us and He is straight with us (He speaks the truth in love). On Wednesday, we saw that He shows us how to live (He is not just theoretical). And yesterday, we saw that Jesus actively seeks our good.
Today we examine the quality that subsumes all the other qualities and is the core of who Jesus is. This quality was demonstrated on the cross – Jesus loves us beyond measure. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
When you are faced with a challenge there is no better person to turn to than Jesus because He loves you beyond measure. On the cross, He paid the price for our sins, which addresses our existential challenge. In His life, He provides all that we need to face every challenge.
Please reflect on the passages above, and contemplate the love of Jesus.
As you reflect on the price Jesus paid for our salvation on this Good Friday, please feel free to share what His death means to you.