A DIFFERENT KING
Read: John 19:23-30
“23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did.
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
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.” (NIV John 19:23-30)
Study: With Jesus on the cross, Roman soldiers gambled for his clothes. To them, crucifying criminals was routine. Jesus entrusted his mother to the care of “the disciple whom he loved.” He, the source of “living water” (John 4:14) said he thirsted. John underlined Jesus’ identity as “our Passover lamb” (2 Corinthians 5:7) by specifying a hyssop branch (Exodus 12:22). Then Jesus said, “It is completed” and died. At infinite cost, God’s great saving work for humanity was completed. “Good Friday,” we call this day—not because humans crucifying Jesus was in any way “good,” but because God’s transforming love brought eternal good out of that awful act. Let focused time with God make this a truly good Friday for you
Prayer: Loving Lord, on this Good Friday, I bow at the foot of your cross, and I commit myself anew to Jesus the Nazarene, the king of my life. Amen.