Good Friday dawned birthing a lesson in love that would last thousands of years.
Jesus taught to love your enemies. Judas, his one-time friend, switched sides. Jesus still loved him, although the tragedy that occurred was in motion because of his own doing.
Jesus exhibited a lesson in love few could live up to. He said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) He laid it down for his enemies too.
He would not sleep that night. The twelve went out to the Garden of Gethsemane. Later, He wrestled alone. Morning approached, but the torture would have just begun. A mob neared, and, as everyone knows, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, feigning affection for the One.
Simon Peter raised his sword, attempting to protect, and cut off Malchus’ ear. The blood must have gushed. Jesus’ last healing before His crucifixion was restoration to someone who came against Him –as an enemy.
Caiaphas, the high priest, held a mock trial, treating the Son as a criminal. He was the first of three to see Jesus. At daylight, when dawn gently broke through the dark hours, a multitude led Him bound from Caiaphas to Pontius Pilate, the governor serving under Emperor Tiberius. Herod was over Galilee then too. (All three were in power when John the Baptist began his ministry). They led Jesus to Pilate as Judas cast his 30 pieces of silver in the Temple. Judas repented, then went out and hanged himself.
Pilate interrogated Jesus. “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You say so.” Pilate declared, “I find no fault in this man.” (Luke 33:3-4) He then sent Him to Herod, where they questioned, mocked, and gave Him a robe. Herod returned Jesus to Pilate. They scourged in the Roman way, which was more brutal than the Jew’s. Pilate hoped to appease the cry for blood, but they blinded to Jesus’ deity and cried, “Crucify Him!.”
That was the plan.
Jesus suffered humiliation and excruciating pain without rest. His goodness ruled on Good Friday.
No one has given as much as Jesus. He came as a child, began His ministry at the age of thirty under the Jewish law, and cared for multitudes for three years, knowing He would be slaughtered. His reason? A lesson in love and provision for forgiveness.
This Good Friday, hold this lesson to your bosom. Remember His goodness beginning this Good Friday.