Six Hours One Friday
Six Hours… From 9 am – 3 pm… His own countrymen clamored for his death… His own disciple planted the kiss of betrayal... His own friends ran for cover… Six Hours... One Friday… The most critical 6 hours in history.
This Friday, He would do what He does best: take the common and make it spectacular. Once again take the rod and divide the sea. Take a pebble and kill a giant. Take water and make sparkling wine. Take a peasant boy’s lunch and feed a multitude. Take mud and restore sight. Take three spikes and a wooden beam and make them the hope of humanity! I spent last night with God trying to really grasp all that happened. I still don’t fully get it. I’ve tried to picture the brutality. (I even watched the Passion of the Christ twice last night). I’ve tried to envision the bigger picture. I can partially grasp how important that day was for me. I can relate the sacrifice on a one on one basis. I know how important I am to my family. They love me and would do almost anything for me and I would do most things for them. I don’t know that they would die for me. Especially a death by crucifixion. Truthfully, I don’t know that I would willingly die that way for them. I say I would. It’s easy to say things, but to do it? Maybe I would, just a bit reluctantly. We have a natural tendency to try and avoid pain, especially for others. But He walked through life with that as his future. Every sermon, every parable, every miracle, a step closer to the cross. A step closer to being tortured for you and me. To take on the punishment for everything that anyone had ever done wrong or would ever do wrong. I don’t even think to try to explain sin does His death justice. He died the worst possible death so you and I wouldn’t have to. And knowing that the person He would most want comfort from during this time, His father could do nothing for Him. Why did he do it? He was the only one who could. The author of life knew that he was the only answer for death. He knew that he was the only hope for the hopeless. We were hopeless. No matter how hard we try, we still mess up. He came and was the example of how to live but he knew we couldn’t follow it, so He gave us a way out. That is why today is Good Friday. It is a day of mourning (in German the day is called “Karfreitag” or Mourning Friday), but this act was the most significant act of Jesus’ time on earth. You can walk around saying that you are God all you want, but until you can prove it, the statement holds no weight. Others have done things that appear supernatural. Others have supposedly healed people. Only One has taken on the mistakes of all, suffered the punishment, died, and then rose from the grave, never to die again. No remains have been or will ever be found. There is no resurrection without the death on the cross. A death that was taking place during those Six Hours One Friday.
9 a.m. – “The Third Hour” Jesus is Crucified on the Cross Mark 15: 25 – It was the third hour when they crucified him. (NIV).Luke 23:34 – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do now know what they are doing.” (NIV) The Soldiers Cast Lots for Jesus’ Clothing (Mark 15:24)
10 a.m. Jesus is Insulted and MockedMatthew 27:39-40 – And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “So! You can destroy the Temple and build it again in three days, can you? Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!”(NLT) Mark 15:31 – The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself!”(NLT) Luke 23:36-37 – The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”(NLT) Luke 23:39 – One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”(NIV)
11 a.m. Jesus and the CriminalLuke 23:40-43 – But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (NIV) Jesus Speaks to Mary and JohnJohn 19:26-27 – When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Woman, he is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “She is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. (NLT)
Noon – “The Sixth Hour” Darkness Covers the LandMark 15:33 – At the sixth-hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. (NLT)
1 p.m. Jesus Cries Out to the FatherMatthew 27:46 – And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”(NKJV) Jesus is ThirstyJohn 19:28-29 – Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, “I am thirsty.”A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. (NLT)
2 p.m. It is FinishedJohn 19:30a – When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” (NLT)
3 p.m. – “The Ninth Hour” Luke 23:46 – Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (NIV) EVENTS FOLLOWING JESUS’ DEATH The EarthquakeMatthew 27:51-52 – At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. (NIV) The Centurion – “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:47) The Soldiers Break the Thieves’ Legs (John 19:31-33) The Soldier Pierces Jesus Side (John 19:34) Jesus is Laid in the Tomb (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42)
Excerpts at the beginning from “Six Hours One Friday” by Max Lucado