44 By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 45 The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. 46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.Luke 23:44-46 (NLT) – The Death of Jesus
Good Friday, or “Black Friday” as it is referenced by Christians, remembers the terrible injustice that was taking place while Jesus had been locked in the dungeon of the high priest’s house overnight. Early in the morning, He was brought before Pontius Pilate, who transferred the case to Herod. Herod promptly sent Him back to Pilate, who, sometime in mid-morning, bowed to the pressure of the Temple leadership and the crowds and condemned Jesus to a horrible death by crucifixion.
In the late morning, Jesus was taken by soldiers through the city and up the hillside of Golgotha. By noon He had been nailed to the Cross, where He hung in agony for some three hours. Jesus died at around three in the afternoon.
Our text today picks up there, and we focus on a point the Gospels all convey that we often read past. We want to see it today and its connection to God’s plan and its meaning to us. Maundy Thursday set forward the connection between the Old Covenant and the New One in Jesus’ blood being shed once for everyone, as a sacrifice for our sins. The final physical connection God set in place to provide was access to Him.
Sin in the Garden had separated us from God, which required seeking forgiveness with a sacrifice offered by the priest on our behalf. With a perfect sacrifice in Jesus, we would no longer require a priest to intercede on our behalf to God, but we could go directly to Him in prayer.
IT IS FINISHED
Black Friday is known as a day of prayer and reflection on Jesus’ life and death. A time to ponder the sacrifice that was made for us and the power that He provided us at His death. 3:00 PM was the time on Friday, the day before the Sabbath, when the Passover lambs were to be sacrificed.
The scripture records in all the Gospels that it was at 3:00 PM that Jesus died and gave up the human spirit he held in His body here with us.
The scriptures all point to what seems like a footnote 45 The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple has been torn down the middle.
We find this note in the Gospels as a remote occurrence as a result of Jesus’ death. Once the perfect lamb of God was sacrificed for our sins, the priest going behind the temple veil would no longer be needed. The scriptures say it was torn from the “top to the bottom” so no person could be connected to it.
On Black Friday, May we pray and reflect on Jesus’ love for us in his obedience to the cross and to God’s love in giving Him that we might ALL have access to directly to Him. This will help us close the gap we may feel from Black Friday to a Good Friday.
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.Hebrews 10:19-20
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