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Friday, April 10, 2009

Lead Me to the Cross - Reflections for Good Friday

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday in commemoration of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It has become a day to begin what is now known as “Holy Week” among Christians. Not that every week shouldn’t be holy as unto the Lord, but it is known as such world wide among Christians none-the-less.

Over the last several years, our church has begun a tradition of having some kind of special presentation by the Worship and Creative Arts Ministry on Palm Sunday in anticipation of Holy Week and Easter the following week. The presentation has ranged from an all-out “Passion” type production, to a simpler skit depicting a man on “trial” for his sins.

This year’s presentation was completely new and different yet again and was called a Multi-sensory Worship Service. Our time of corporate worship was filled with sights and sounds as it was very multi-media oriented paired with monologues from Biblical characters and songs presented by the choir. And yet it was participatory and also included the senses of touch and smell as we were given several items that are symbolic of Christ’s journey through His trial, scourging, crucifixion, and burial.

Today, on this Good Friday, I want to share those symbolic items with you along with my reflections on each.

Proclamation of Condemnation

Symbolic of the type of decree that Pilate would have signed for Jesus’ execution, we were given a Proclamation of Condemnation. For it is by the law that we are condemned as we are unable in and of our own effort to perfectly follow the law. By the law, we are under God’s wrath because all of us have sinned. And the consequences of sin… is death.

Wooden Cross

A small wooden cross. Clean and smooth. So unlike the scene at Golgotha where the ground and rough wooden beams were drenched and stained with the blood of many crucifixions. The cross. A symbol now that many just wear as a piece of pretty jewelry. Not the pretty and sterilized thing that is depicted by a cross that one can wear around their neck, it was a truly ugly and horrifying place for those who witnessed crucifixion.

Rusty Spike/Nail

The spikes that were driven into His hands/wrists and feet were big and heavy, much like our sins that were placed on Him that day. On Sunday, we had a video of a trauma surgeon who described the many traumas that Jesus’ body would have endured throughout the scourging and crucifixion. He described where the spikes would have been driven through His wrists and what that meant in terms of severing or pinching certain major nerves. Breathe in… excruciating pain. Breathe out… excruciating pain.

Linen Cloth

The pieces of linen that we received had been treated with spikenard, one of the herbal treatments used in burial cloths of that time. Mary, Jesus mother, would have been personally involved in preparing the spices and cloths for His burial. The monologue that was given as Mary was so moving as she spoke of her son… the one she kissed goodnight a thousand times… the one who brought her flowers from the garden… her precious son. What mother couldn’t relate to that? The sweet aroma of the spikenard then was the smell of death to most. But thinking of those linen cloths and how they were folded neatly on the day of His resurrection, signifying that He would come again… to us, that sweet aroma is VICTORY!

Today, friends. Remember the sacrifice. Think about the suffering. Contemplate what Jesus Christ endured for you. Don’t rush past the cross to the resurrection. Christ’s time there deserves our attention and meditation.

Take time this Good Friday to reflect on these things.


Karen said...

When I read the title of your post it made me think of that song. I see you included it though. Thanks, I'll have it on my mind today. :)

kindasassy said...

Today is indeed, a Good friday for us who know the truth of its meaning.