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Good Friday | Easter Week: Through John’s Eyes | John 10:11, 17-18, John 19:28-42

Good Friday. The day of Jesus’ crucifixion. A day that was fully funded by His profoundly deep and unconditional love for you and me. 

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I wonder if on this day John remembered the words he heard Jesus say. He did write them down in his own gospel. In John chapter 10, verse 11, he wrote down the words Jesus said, and I’m going to share them with you right now.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.”

I wonder if as John stood there watching Jesus hang on the cross, he remembered Jesus saying that, and himself writing it down on the parchment paper.

Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica, your host, and today we remember Good Friday. I want to invite you to join me in John’s gospel. But in chapter 19, and as I’ve been encouraging you all week, I invite you to open up a physical Bible and listen to the pages rustle, and hold God’s Word in your hands if you can. Picture him holding your hand, and I want to invite you to join me in verse 28. Last time, of course, Jesus was already on the cross and I want to continue the story today, as we remember the greatest act of love humankind has ever known.

Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 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. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Let’s reflect for a moment here on the death of our Lord.

Jesus, we worship you right now and we remember. Lord, I remember the day I said yes to you, the day I accepted your free gift of love and forgiveness, and I pray for my friend who’s listening right now who wants to accept your free gift, but they don’t feel like they’re good enough. Lord, would you wrap your arms around my friend right now, those same arms that stretched out on the cross to die for me, to die, for my friend who’s listening and thinking they’re not good enough. Would you just wrap your arms around my friend and assure her, assure him, of your love. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for me and for friend. Thank you for paying for our sins before we were even born. Your love stretches across time and space, and we receive it right now on this Good Friday.

Okay, we’re going to go back to our story now. We’re going to pick it up in verse 31.

It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe.)

I just want to stop here and remind you that John is speaking to you. He wrote these words down so that you would believe so that I would believe verse 36 now.

These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.”

Lord, we remember that you were pierced for us, for the sake of love you died, and right now in this moment when we again grieve what you went through, and feel the depth of your love for us, we remember it’s also not the end of the story and we praise you for that.

Verse 38 now.

Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. 40 Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. 41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

I imagine there were many tears shed in that moment between Joseph and Nicodemus, but this story is far from over. I want to wrap up our very special week together with more words from John. Seems fitting since we’ve been reading the story through his eyes, walking in his sandals this week. I want to go back to John chapter 10. This time we’re going to be reading verses 17 and 18. As you and I remember that a lot can happen in three days. These are the words of Jesus now that John wrote down,

“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”

Until next time when we remember that Jesus took his life up again, you are so loved.

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