His Death is Our life
First Reading: Isaiah 52: 13 – 53.12
Second Reading: Hebrews 4.14 – 16; 5. 7 -9
John 18.1 – 19.42
Today we are not celebrating the history, rather the mystery of the Cross. We ponder over
and dramatically and symbolically and sacramentally express and experience what has
happened behind and beyond the Cross. One thing we are sure, in this mystery there are
three other mysteries hidden. First, it is the mystery of Jesus: He was both human and
divine. We are perplexed to see him become no-man, voiceless lamb to be taken to
slaughter house and indeed h was butchered and crucified and died. How can the divine Son
die that way? That is a mystery, Secondly, it is the mystery of God’s Freedom. God had
made a covenant with humanity. Covenant means a testament, a will.
Jesus died for us on the cross. Before, the cross was held in contempt, but today, it is
venerated. Before, it was a symbol of condemnation, today it is the hope of salvation. It has
truly been converted into a fount of infinite goods; it has liberated us from error, it has
scattered our darkness, it has reconciled us with God. The Cross is respected today as the
Tree of Life; it is the sign of true love; it is the source of joy, it is indeed the throne of
servants and disciples of Jesus; and it is evergreen and never will it dry out. Once we were
enemies of God, today thanks to the Cross we have been made his friends and family; Once
we were pagans, heathens and foreigners, today the Cross has converted us to be his
neighbors: This cross is the destruction of enmity, the fount of peace, the coffer of our
The Seven Last Words of Jesus
- “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23: 33 – 38). Jesus
is the Lord of forgiveness. He lived, preached and died in forgiveness. We need to recognize
that people don’t know altogether what they are doing. There is a spirit of deception
prevalent everywhere. The husband who thought he won the argument lost intimacy with
his wife. The person who hurt you has hurt himself and his relationship with God. People
badly need forgiveness from God, but few people know this. “Father, forgive them, for they
do not know what they are doing.” Forgive others.
- “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23: 39 – 43). Heaven is
real. Redemption is Jesus’ Mission. His purpose in life is saving people. He never
- “He said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then he said to his disciple, ‘Behold
your Mother!’ (John 19: 25 – 27). From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”
Here we get the practical application in terms of caring for our parents.
- “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27: 45 – 46). These words from
Jesus tell us that whatever we’re going through, God is aware of, and if He chose to, He could
have changed the outcome. Therefore, direct your questions to God, but now that you can
trust His goodness and righteousness. We see only a day at a time. God sees the whole
picture. He will do what is good and right. In practical life, express your heart to God.
- “I thirst!” (John 19: 28 – 29) Jesus is a man of humanity. A person with resentment an
anger says, “I’ll get even, “ or “God doesn’t care.” But a hopeful and trusting person
confesses his need and weakness to God. Be thirsty for the living water.
- “It is finished!” (John 19:30) One can only say it is finished if he knows where he is going.
Jesus understood the destiny that he faced and could enter it in total faith. If you believe,
you will have the resources and resolve to deal with the trials in your life. Tough times are
temporary; God’s people are eternal. Most people give into circumstances or temptations,
not because they lack resources, but because they lack resolve; they gave up too soon. We
can finish well. The last words of Christ were not words of resignation or defeat, but a shout
of triumph to cut through the pain and desolation. Christ did not whimper “I am finished”,
but proclaimed to the dark sky and the shaking earth the news that death had been
conquered. As Fr. Kieran O’Mahony notes, “Jesus dies with the words “It is accomplished”
(Jerusalem Bible version). This reminds us of “In the beginning God created heaven and
earth” (Gen 1: 1); “on the seventh day God had completed the work he had been doing”
(Gen 2:2). Don’t give up, finish what you have begun.
- “Father into thy hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23: 44 – 46). Jesus is a man of
submission. Until his last breath. Jesus was committed to remaining in submission to the
Father. We have not lost if we know in whose hands, we are held. Whether stripped of our
possessions, reputation physical or mental health, we need not be anxious, because our lives
are not like dry leaves, blown and tossed by the wind. We are lovingly and eternally held in
our Father’s hands. Pace your life in God’s hands.
These final words of Jesus offer us eternal confidence and eternal relationship. There is the
promise of forgiveness, assertion that heaven is real, invitation to care for parents, challenge
to express your heart to God, invitation to thirst for the living water, challenge to finish what
you have begun and invitation to place your life in God’s hands.
God Bless. Have a blessed Good Friday.