“NOT JUST ANOTHER FRIDAY”
What a day! Never has there been one like it. Started out just like any other. Surely did not wind up being that way. There were so many people everywhere. But, then, it was always that way during Passover. Every street, shop, road into and out of the city was filled to overflowing. No time for lengthy conversations in the marketplace. So much to get done to prepare for this most significant holiday.
The word on the street was that He was in Jerusalem. Many had heard about Him and His teaching, power to heal, and even the rumor that He has raised a friend from the dead just over in Bethany. As the morning broke on that Friday morning, the news was rapidly spreading that Jesus had been arrested overnight. He was in the custody of the religious leaders and from the talk on the street, they were taking him to Pilate to request that He be killed. It was not unusual that a man would be sentenced to the cross. But, it was unusual for a religious leader to be executed in that way.
Those arriving into the city having passed by Golgotha were reporting that three men had just been put on crosses on the hill…one of them was Jesus. No time to think about such gruesome things. The joyous Passover Feast was at hand. Food to be bought, lambs to be slain and roasted, time to gather with families and let the grandparents see how much the grandchildren had grown since last year.
The levity was interrupted at noon. It was the strangest thing. Although it was the middle of a spring day, it grew as dark as midnight. Not only was it eerie, but it grew cold with the sun’s light blotted out. The merchants stopped briefly as did the shoppers. People stopped in their tracks looking up to see what had happened to the sun. Many said that they had never seen it like that before. Lamps were being lit in the stalls of vendors and in the homes across the city.
As you would expect, there were as many guesses about the cause of the darkness as there were people to offer them. “It must be severe storm coming in.” “I think it is just a natural covering of the sun by the moon. I have heard my parents tell of things like this years ago.” Another stated emphatically, “It is prophetic. God is judging our nation for our sinfulness.” And, still others simply stood staring first at the sky and then at each other trying to get some plausible explanation of the “what and why” of the present darkness.
The day had gotten away. All the required tasks in the markets were almost finished. The shoppers had to hurry home to get ready for the Passover quickly. As they headed toward the gate to take them out of the city, they were met by people out of breath running as if fleeing from something. All one could hear them say was, “He’s dead”! As others asked for more information, the runners would just say breathlessly, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews…He’s dead!” “We heard him say two things before He died, ‘It is finished’. Then, He said, “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.” And, he died. Seems so tragic that our world has come to the place of so hating a Godly man that they would kill Him to silence Him. Seems we need someone to deliver us from this cycle of death and dying and from the heels of tyrants. We need a KING that is so powerful that all other kingdoms must kneel before His greatness and authority. I wonder…. what would the world be like if He came?