Good Friday

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It is noon, and it is very dark out. The sun is gone, clouds are thick, the wind blows.

Good Friday

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It is 11:30.

One of the Romans pulls out some dice. They start playing a game, gambling.

A thin, tall soldier wins the best prize, Jesus’ nice clothes. They figure Jesus won’t be needing them anymore.

Good Friday

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It is 11:25.

One of the criminals hanging beside Jesus turns to him, and scoffs, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself–and us, too, while you’re at it!”

The other criminal responds, “Don’t you fear God even when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”

There is silence for a moment.

Then he says, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

Jesus looks at him and says, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The clouds grow thick, the day looks like it is getting darker.

Good Friday

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It is 10:30 am.The leading priests, the teachers of the religious law, and other leaders (the men who arrested and condemned Jesus) come wandering up the hill, making sure their work is finished.

“He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the king of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him! He trusted God–let God show his approval by delivering him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God’”

Jesus stared at them from the cross, his wounds bleeding, his strength leaving.

Clouds appear over the hills, on the western horizon.

Good Friday

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It is 9:10. Jesus is thrown out of the headquarters, bloodied and reviled. He forced to the ground, the cross beam is tied to his arms and shoulders. It weighs over eighty pounds.

He is pulled to his feet and forced to walk west, up and down the hilly streets of Jerusalem, followed by those mocking him and those crying for him.

Good Friday

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It is 8:50

The soldiers take Jesus from Pilate and bring him to their headquarters.

At this moment, Jesus is whipped and beaten, nearly to death. They mock him as they beat him, putting on his head a crown of thorns, and forcing him to hold a mock scepter.

“Hail King of the Jews!” they yell. He is bloodied, and torn apart. The whips pull out flesh, and expose bone, leaving huge gashes on his back, and on all his body.

By these stripes, you are healed.

Good Friday

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It is 8:35.

Pilate says, “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence. Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. So I will have him flogged, but then release him.”

The crowd argues back, “No!! Kill him! Give us Barabbas! Crucify Jesus!”

Pilate asks, perplexed, “Why? What has this man done?”

The crowd persists, Pilate relents.

He sends for a bowl of water, washes his hands in it. “Do what you wish,” he says, “I have done my part.”

“That’s fine with us,” the people yell back.

He releases Barabbas to the people, and now orders Jesus to be crucified

Good Friday

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It is 8:20. Pilate again meets with Jesus, then calls the religious leaders to hear his verdict.

Good Friday

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It is 8:00. Herod sees Jesus and is greatly disappointed. The meeting does not take long. Jesus refuses to answer any questions. So, the great king mocks Jesus, puts a purple robe on him and sends him back to Pilate.

Pilate and Herod become friends over this incident.

Good Friday

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It is now 7:45. Pilate has said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”

“He is causing riots, from Galilee to Jerusalem,” the crowd yells back.

“Oh!” Pilate says, “He’s a Galilean. Not my responsibility. Off to Herod with him.”

Herod is woken up, Jesus is now brought before him.