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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Friday, April 2

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
—Psalm 22:1

Good Friday

Jesus’ anguished cry from the cross echoes through the centuries. We will hear that cry again today, if we attend a Good Friday service. Of all the days in the year, I believe this is the one when we should be in church.

On Good Friday, we hear the story of Jesus of Nazareth betrayed,
condemned, tortured and executed. We hear Peter deny Jesus, the crowd jeering him, the criminals on either side of him asking him to help them. If we allow ourselves to be completely present to what we hear, we can become part of that holy day.

Choose any one of the four gospels, and let yourself be carried along with the tide of the narrative. Stop and put yourself in place of the characters; listen to the sounds: a cock crowing, a crowd jeering, nails being driven into wood (and flesh), a voice crying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

That cry from the cross comes from the first line of Psalm 22, another excellent tool for meditation today. When you read it you will notice that it ends on a hopeful note, just as  Easter is the “end” of Good Friday.

But it is not Easter yet, and Easter will not mean nearly as much to us if we do not experience Good Friday.

from the Collect for Good Friday, The Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold those who are your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2005.