Good Friday Meditation
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10, ESV)
“They look on him whom they have pierced.” Just look at the men standing around the cross of Jesus. Like spears their tongues reach out and cut Jesus’ precious flesh. You can hear their words. “Come down from the cross Jesus, if you’re so great.” “If you do that we’ll believe in you.” How sharp are their words. And yet, there’s more. A man on a horse pulling a wagon curses their slow progress raising a whip against them. His tongue flies through space finding its mark on Jesus. Two men locked in mortal combat spit curses at each other and the words on their lips slash the Savior’s side. They mock Jesus at his dying breath. The cuts produce great drops of blood from the Victim on the cross. And the demons howl in delight, rattling the chains of human slavery to sin.
You and I have done it. We are in the picture here. No we don’t speak the same words but we say words that cut Christ just the same. How often our lips are weapons against our neighbors and friends and family. How often our lies seek out and puncture a reputation. How often the promises we speak are left to nothing. How often we repeat what we know is untrue to tear down a friend. We think that because our target isn’t Jesus that the spears from our lips haven’t found their target in him. And yet he bleeds on the cross from our sin, just as if we were there thrusting the point of the spear with our own hands. We mock all that Jesus has done and our cuts cause great drops of blood from the Victim on the cross. And the demons howl in delight, rattling the chains of our slavery to sin.
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, ESV)Wounded, pierced he was. He hangs there to receive our chastisement when we tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him and hurt his reputation. It is our sin He bears on the tree of the cross. And yet, look at Jesus face. It shines with the Glory of God. It is the peace of God that is there. The blood pouring from the wounds cleanses the tongues that pierce him. That body broken heals the hearts that are the source of sin. The demons mouths are shut. The chains of sin are broken. We are free to soften our speech. We are free to defend our enemy instead of cursing him. We are free to speak about our neighbor in only the kindest way. Jesus on the cross is our forgiveness. Jesus on the cross is our healing. Jesus on the cross is for me and you. Amen.