Good Friday Message: “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” (Jn 19:37) Dr. Fr. Davis George

Jesus went around doing good; made the lame walk, the lepers clean, the dumb speak, and the deaf hear and even brought dead people to life.  He   stood for values that challenged the religious leaders and rulers of his time. And he was condemned to death on a cross which was meant only for the criminals.  Centuries before the birth of Christ, Prophet Zechariah said, “They will look on me the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zech 12:10)  Jesus himself said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (Jn 12:32)  Again we read in the Bible, “They shall look on Him, whom they pierced.” (Jn 19:37)  Jesus on the cross has been the source of salvation and healing to the suffering humanity irrespective of Caste, Creed and Nationality.  In our brokenness and helplessness when we look at Jesus on the cross we gain strength and courage to endure what cannot be changed and to surrender to God’s Will.  When we are unjustly victimized and ill-treated the crucified Lord can be a source of great strength and consolation.  When we go through long periods of sickness, suffering and pain, look at the way Jesus endured the suffering and died on the cross.  When bad things happen to good people we are perturbed and intrigued as to why me, when I am so good.  Again the answer is on the cross. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (Jn 12:24)

While Jesus was alive he had told his disciples “if anyone would come after me, let him deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9:23)  Taking up the cross on a daily basis is the key to discipleship.  Many want to follow Christ without taking up their cross daily and go around grumbling and finding fault and indulging in self pity.  Jesus consistently taught his disciples that the Cross is inevitable and he will die on the cross to atone for the sins of humankind.  “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Pt 1:18-19)  Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah predicted about the death of the Messiah: He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.  Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.  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. (Is 53:3-5)

Human history has never seen a Messiah like Jesus.  That is why St. Paul said, “but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.” (1 Cor 1:23-25)  In your brokenness and pain look at Jesus on the cross, you will receive healing and salvation. “Those who looked to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.” (Ps 34:5)  Be blessed on this Good Friday.  Fr. Davis, SAIT.