Crucifixion 10a
Meditation and Reflection

Good Friday: love so amazing, so divine

 

Good Friday
The Collects

Almighty God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross, who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all estates of men in thy holy Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

O merciful God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live: Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle
Hebrews 10.1-25

The law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices, which they offered year by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect: for then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure: then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt-offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein, (which are offered by the law;) then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God: he taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering, and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his foot-stool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love, and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

The Gospel
St. John 19.1-37

Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews: and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; and went again into the judgement-hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgement-seat, in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified: and they took Jesus, and led him away.

And he, bearing his cross, went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew, Golgotha: where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross; and the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written, I have written.

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son. Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother. And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath-day, (for that sabbath-day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

John brings us, through the depiction of the utter serenity of Jesus, to a point of silence. For Mark, Jesus is the Son of God; for Matthew, He is the King; for Luke, Jesus is the Saviour. But for John, this is the Lamb of God who goes to the slaughter like the animals in Hebrews, ritually bled so that no drop of blood remains in him but is poured on the ground.

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, who was with Him at the creation of the world, to die the agonising death of a cursed criminal. The cross that killed the Son of God blotted out our every sin: that which was torture for Him was a sweet gift to us – the path to eternal life.

On this Good Friday, let us meditate upon the man hanging on that cross. Our every selfish thought, our pride, our fits of anger, our lies, jealousy, greed and intolerance drove those nails into His feet and hands. Even in His deepest agony, he was forgiving us.

The death of Christ brought his disciples to the very depths of despair: they were abandoned, mocked and disillusioned. And yet they possessed within their hearts the peace which passes all understanding: an assurance, a hope that their time of testing might pass and that the curse of death might be conquered.

They did not know; they believed.

And the message they believed has been central to the Christian faith for almost 2,000 years. It is one that has continually to be reinforced at times of stress, despair and danger; the moments when faith is tested and the will to overcome is undermined. This is why Good Friday is so central in its symbolism: the descent of darkness, the portents of destruction, the expiry of vision and hope. It is the Good Friday that comes to every person at different times, when failure robs life of all meaning, joy and love. It is the collapse of enterprise, confidence, relationships and dignity. It is the descent into Hell.

And let us take a moment to remember that today, in the 21st century, Christians are still being crucified for their faith.

Christians crucified

The disciples of Christ are still enduring what Josephus referred to as “that most wretched of deaths”. Some are given the choice of converting to Islam, but most are given no choice at all. They are strung up on their cross in agony for the world to see. It is politics and power; religion and fear. In the Middle East, nothing seems to have changed in 2,000 years. We can know that they believe in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection: it sustains them through the despair – we think; we imagine. This life does not promise the joy and ecstasy of Easter: that is for another place. All we can expect on earth is to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness: the world will hate us, but it hated Him first.

Our sin brought Jesus to his death on Calvary. The Christian faith still brings believers to death on a cross. There is no retreat from messianic history: the cries of agony still reverberate around the world. Love so amazing, so divine, demands our souls, our lives, our all.

  • The Explorer

    The clip from ‘The Passion of the Christ’ is a good corrective to ‘Life of Brian’. I’ve often thought it would have been interesting to actually crucify one of ‘Bright Side of Life’ singers just to see how long they kept up the song.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      For such reasons, I detest so-called Monty Python.

      However, I will wait until we have celebrated Воскресение Христово before commenting any further on that.

      • dannybhoy

        Agreed.
        Dunno any Russki..

        • Pubcrawler

          “Christ’s Resurrection”

          • dannybhoy

            Oh.
            Why didn’t he say that then?

          • Pubcrawler

            He did. In Russian.

          • dannybhoy

            Smarta**

          • Pubcrawler

            I’ll remember this exchange next time you scatter your comments with Hebrew 😛

          • dannybhoy

            אני לא מבין על מה אתה מדבר …
            Go away and stop bothering me with your endless jibes..

          • IrishNeanderthal

            I had a brief immersion in Russian culture a couple of days ago. But why didn’t I use English? Perhaps this bit of Chesterton http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/Victorian_Age.html#Page_12 gets near to it:

            The Germans, like the Welsh, can sing perfectly serious songs perfectly seriously in chorus: can with clear eyes and clear voices join together in words of innocent and beautiful personal passion, for a false maiden or a dead child. The nearest one can get to defining the poetic temper of Englishmen is to say that they couldn’t do this even for beer.

            But now I think of it, Latin would have been a better option in this context.

          • dannybhoy

            Go away.
            You are tresspassing on a simplepeopleonlyzone

          • The Explorer

            I feel that way every time I talk to cacheton. He thinks I’m being evasive because I feel threatened, but it isn’t that. I just don’t know what he’s talking about.

          • Pubcrawler

            I’m not sure he does either.

  • dannybhoy

    We sang this at church last Sunday. .

    “Come, see his hands and his feet,
    The scars that speak of sacrifice,
    Hands that flung stars into space
    To cruel nails surrendered.”

    What love our Creator God shows to us who are so unworthy.

  • dannybhoy

    “Christians throughout the world fear that a Salesian priest who was kidnapped during a deadly attack in Yemen earlier this month might be executed by Islamic State jihadists on Good Friday, following an unconfirmed online report from the Franciscan Sisters of Siessen.”
    http://zionica.com/2016/03/24/isis-to-crucify-christians-on-good-friday/
    This Christian brother is one of a few who chose to stay on in Yemen..
    We Christians who are free need to stir ourselves up on behalf of the Suffering Church while there is still yet time.
    It’s so sad that we quote the parable of the Good Samaritan in regards to the poor and dispossessed, yet ignore that the Samaritan was beaten and robbed….

  • Inspector General

    Not altogether sure that Christ was ‘contented’ to be betrayed. Seems to be an example of a fellow being overtaken by events and utterly powerless to do anything but allow these events to proceed as they will. Literally, the stuff of nightmares. One is sure we’ve all had these kind of dreams in our beds…

    • Anton

      “Nobody takes my life from me, for I lay it down of my own accord” – Jesus Christ in John 10:18.

      I think the freemasons call the Crucifixion a “dire calamity”. Inspector, have you been a freemason?

      • Inspector General

        Certainly not! How dare you, sir!

        • Anton

          Very glad to hear it.

    • dannybhoy

      Rubbish dear Inspector,
      ” an example of a fellow being overtaken by events and utterly powerless to do anything but allow these events to proceed as they will.”

      God divested Himself of His divinity and dwelt among us for one reason only; to make it possible for sinful mankind to be reconciled to a Holy loving God.
      Our Lord knew exactly what He was doing, and He knew exactly where it would end, and He accepted that as His mission.
      It has been said that the reason Christ was born when the Romans occupied Israel was because crucifixion was not the way of the Jews: stoning was.
      Our Lord had to be fully aware of what He was doing and able to yield His Spirit in death as our Passover Lamb. Hence He cried out,
      “It is finished!”
      Had He have been stoned He would not have been able to do so.

    • William Lewis

      You’re a strange kind of Catholic Inspector, and no mistake.

      • Inspector General

        The Catholics do worship of God rather well, William…

    • The Explorer

      It’s why the Qur’an says the Gospels have got it all wrong. Allah would not have allowed one of his prophets to be crucified.

      • pobjoy

        Then why did Allah allow millions of people to believe that one of his prophets had been crucified, with his own approval, and did nothing to correct this belief for 600 years?

        • Pubcrawler

          Perhaps you should direct that question towards a Muslim.

          • pobjoy

            I’ve done that many times. but never got an answer.

          • Pubcrawler

            Funny, that. At least you lived to tell the tale.

          • pobjoy

            I always put my running shoes on first.

          • Pubcrawler

            And stab vest. Don’t forget the stab vest. Or, for the more traditionally minded, hauberk, coif and aventail.

        • The Explorer

          Everything was okay with Allah’s first revelation: you know, the one in which Adam is the first prophet and the first Muslim. Then the Jews screwed up the revelation, and the Christians screwed it up worse, until things got so bad that Allah had to send his final prophet to give the true message a second time.
          Things will rub along – the true revelation and the false ones – until Christ returns with the Mahdi to finally break the Cross (ie destroy Christianity) and establish universal Islam.

          As to why Allah allowed millions to believe the wrong thing: well, you’ve got to have somebody to populate Hell.

          • pobjoy

            Of course. Allah, the Wise, Allah, the Merciful.

  • len

    The pathway to all who would follow Christ leads to the Cross. There is no way to avoid this’ gateway to salvation’.

    ‘ For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.’ 1 Corinthians)

  • “Our sin brought Jesus to his death on Calvary.”

    God’s love …

    • dannybhoy

      God’s love… embraces repentant Cat’lics and Prods too…

      • pobjoy

        God’s love… embraces repentant Cat’lics and Prods too.

        Hindus, Mulsim, atheists, Shintoists, you name it.

        But only real Protestants know that they have appropriated God’s love.

        • dannybhoy

          Naughty Pobjoy!
          I am more catholic in my understanding of how our God sees our hearts. Our Lord said,
          ” And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”
          John 10:16

          • pobjoy

            Jesus was referring to Gentiles; presumably that meets no objection. So in what way are you more catholic in your understanding?

          • dannybhoy

            Because I accept that God knows the heart. Whether it be a devout Jewish heart or a (Christian) denominational heart..

          • pobjoy

            I accept that God knows the heart

            ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.’ Jer 17:9 NIV

          • dannybhoy

            Yes,
            “10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

          • pobjoy

            When do we see the fruit of dannybhoy’s doings? 🙂

            ‘Only real Protestants know that they have appropriated God’s love.’ Why do people believe that? And if they are wrong, why are they wrong?

          • dannybhoy

            Danny goes on the basis that
            a) God gave men free will
            b) God does not force salvation on us
            c) If an individual is truly seeking and living up to the light he/she currently has, God through the Holy Spirit will work on that person’s heart, drawing them to Christ Jesus.

            Consider the Ethiopian eunuch.
            Consider Na’aman the leper
            Consider the thief on the Cross.
            There are those who mock God and those who genuinely seek Him.

          • pobjoy

            This is your fourth reply that fails to address the question. It will now be assumed that you agree that only real Protestants know that they have appropriated God’s love.

          • dannybhoy

            No, I don’t believe that.
            Two, three Fridays ago I was talking to an Israeli pastor from a Jewish Mizrachi background.
            Lovely guy, lovely testimony.
            Not a Protestant.

          • Anton

            You are being too Eurocentric. China is packed with evangelical Christians who regard Catholic and protestant as terms from European church history. They’d unhesitatingly opt for the latter but the word itself would mystify them.

          • pobjoy

            That’s because of your spelling.

          • Anton

            ??

          • carl jacobs

            No one knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.

            You cannot know the Father without the Son. There are no devout Jewish hearts.

          • dannybhoy

            de·vout (dĭ-vout′)
            1 a. Devoted to a religion or to the fulfillment of religious obligations: a devout Catholic.
            b. Characterized by religious devotion or piety: devout observance of the holy days.

            That’s a rather arrogant and somewhat ‘iffy’ position to take up Carl.
            A Jew who follows the tenets of his or her faith is devout. A Jew who studies Tenach, who applies himself to the Scriptures is devout. A Jew who lives a life of integrity and piety and prayer is devout.
            Perhaps you meant something else?

          • Anton

            Try this: You cannot love God without loving Jesus.

          • dannybhoy

            But you can love and be devoted to God as you understand Him.
            Especially if (as a Jew), your perception of Christ Jesus is coloured by two thousand years of persecution and hostility; culminating in the organised deportation, enslavement, humiliation, deliberate incineration/ murder of mothers, fathers, children and relatives –simply because they were Jewish..
            I think had that happened to me, I would be very leery of someone coming up to me as a Jew and saying,
            “Hi! Jesus loves you!”
            As I have argued elsewhere there are devout Jews far more educated than me who have heard all this stuff before through cynical ears.
            There’s a poem….

            “How odd of God
            To choose the Jews.
            But not so odd
            As those who choose
            A Jewish God
            Yet spurn the Jews”

          • Anton

            I’m a Zionist Christian (I prefer the words in that order) and a regular member of a prayer group for Israel, and I mean no offence, but I do stand by my words. You can do good works without loving God, you can spend a lot of time doing religion without loving God, but you cannot love God without loving Jesus. Jewish converts to Christ say so too.

          • dannybhoy

            You’re a Christian, full stop.
            There is no place in Heaven reserved for Christian Zionists; only Christians.
            Secondly I think you are missing my point.
            In the final analysis God says,
            “10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
            Jeremiah 17.
            So our great God looks down on the sons of men and He knows what is going on in their hearts. We don’t.
            Interesting that you totally ignore my points re Jews and the Church’s witness/treatment of them.
            God knows the hearts of devout Jews. I am not saying they are going to be saved -unless they come to Christ Jesus.
            But there are an awful lot of what I would call godly Jews who have very good reasons why they don’t believe.
            But they pray to God, they try at least as hard as we do to serve God, and some do come to recognise our Lord as Messiah.
            These godly Jews we should love more than we argue with them. The same goes for anyone who is seeking God. We Christians should show them the love of Christ.
            But I think God hears the prayers of those devout Jews.
            What He does with them and how He answers them we don’t know.
            What we do know as you yourself have said, is they are yet to play a great part in His end time plan because Jesus the Messiah will rule from Jerusalem.

          • Anton

            Yes, and I look forward to it.

            I agree entirely that “There is no place in Heaven reserved for Christian Zionists; only Christians.” That is why I prefer to use Zionist as an adjective and Christian as noun in my self-description rather than vice-versa.

            I didn’t ignore what you wrote; I simply thought it didn’t counter my comment, but I don’t wish to write huge screeds and it might be better to let readers decide for themselves.

            The Jews have umpteen prophecies of Jesus in their scriptures which they should heed. Where so-called Christians have persecuted them, those persecutors will someday have to account for their actions to a Jew; but it is still true that every man is responsible for his own soul.

          • dannybhoy

            Consider what Mahatma Gandhi said..
            http://www.goodreads.com/autho

            Of course every man is responsible, but I believe God wants His children to present Christ and not just His words, but also His redemptive power evident in us.

          • Anton

            I think you’ve not copied the link properly! Do reply to me if you get it running, please.

            I know what the Jewish explanations of eg the Suffering Servant passages in Isaiah are, and I reckon they are easily enough knocked over to an impartial audience. The trouble is that Orthodox Jews are not impartial. St Paul says (in Romans) that they have harder hearts than most. That is where I came in with my comments about loving God or not. But if I didn’t have a heart for them then I wouldn’t devote the portion of my prayer life to them that I do.

          • dannybhoy

            I tried re-linking, but anyway, he said,
            “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

            “For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in;” Romans 11:25

            But I still believe that devout Jews when they pray to God under the Covenant are heard by God. What He does with those prayers I don’t know, but God loves them and wants them to come to faith in Yeshua haMeshiach. We help in this process by loving and respecting them. There are many insights we can learn about the Scriptures from the Jews.

          • Anton

            I agree absolutely that the European approach to the New Testament is too often via a Greek rather than a Hebraic worldview and that the cure is immersion in the Old Testament. I agree that God loves Israel, ie the Jewish nation. I think he is at least as hacked off with their hardheartedness as he is with other sinners, though. They knowingly reject his own son; see the parable at Matthew 21:33-36. Does God heed the prayer of such? If so, why the Holocaust?

            I confess that this conversation is making me dizzy; usually it’s me advocating Israel’s cause to Christians who are, frankly, anti-semitic. I’ve not changed my position; I just think we don’t do Jews any favours if we avoid raising the gospel with them in case it causes offence. I’m sure we agree that so much depends on HOW we do it.

          • dannybhoy

            Ha! I am evangelical. I share my faith wherever possible. I have led groups in evangelism.
            My experiences in Israel and talking with Jews leads me to believe first you build a relationship, a friendship if possible. You respect them and their learning -and many are very learned!
            You try correcting misunderstandings of Christianity. But you will come up against sticking points re interpretation of some key Scriptures and at that point you either leave it as friends or you lose the friendship.

          • Anton

            At that moment, yes. It takes the wisdom of God to know what to do in such moments. Thankfully it is available to us.

          • dannybhoy

            I found this link for you Anton.
            https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/havurah/v12-n02/01
            The whole article is good, but especially scroll down to
            “Prayer and Our People…”

          • carl jacobs

            By that definition, there are also devout pantheist and devout pagans. This is a true statement, I admit. But that doesn’t fit the context of John 10. You connected a devout Jewish heart to the concept of Jesus’ sheep. You paralleled Christian and Jewish in a way to indicate that a devout Jewish heart is pleasing to God. It isn’t.

          • dannybhoy

            “By that definition, there are also devout pantheist and devout pagans.”
            In the context this is true.

            “You paralleled Christian and Jewish in a way to indicate that a devout Jewish heart is pleasing to God. It isn’t.”
            Did I say that?
            I don’t think so Carl.
            I think God understands our hearts and why we don’t believe.
            I am saying that God loves all men and wants them to repent and be reconciled through Christ Jesus.
            But I don’t quite see where we as the Christian church have been a great witness to the Jewish Messiah to Jews who (imo) have every reason to doubt our claims.

            Consider what Mahatma Gandhi said..
            http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5810891.Mahatma_Gandhi

          • carl jacobs

            Did I say that?

            You said …

            Because I accept that God knows the heart. Whether it be a devout Jewish heart or a (Christian) denominational heart

            You said that in response to pobjoy (correctly) pointing out that Jesus’ reference in John 10:16 is a reference to the gentiles. So, yes, you clearly paralleled Christian and Jew. You are free to revise and extend your remarks. My only purpose is to deny that a Jew can be saved apart from faith in Christ, or that a devout Jew is somehow pleasing to God whereas a devout Hindu isn’t.

            As it is written “If you do not believe that I Am He, you will die in your sins.” There is no “except for devout Jews” clause attached to that statement.

        • Anton

          Orthodox, Catholic and even Protestant are merely terms in European church history. I prefer to think of myself as a Bible Christian.

          To all who believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, fully man and fully divine in the same sense as the Creator of all things, fraternal greetings at this time of year when He was crucified, died and rose from the dead!

          • pobjoy

            Bible Christians don’t write like that.

          • Anton

            This one does.

          • Pubcrawler

            Hmmm. That ‘merely’…

          • carl jacobs

            The Reformation was not merely a misunderstanding. There were (and are) serious issues at stake – issues the involve the content of the Gospel. Those terms do reflect European church history, but they represent a much more fundamental conflict. The empty hand of a wretch does not find righteousness in the Treasury of Merit.

          • Anton

            Don’t confuse theology and ecclesiology.

          • carl jacobs

            I’m not sure how to respond to that, Anton. Open any Systematic Theology and you will find theology proper, soteriology, and ecclesiology. I don’t confuse them. Rome teaches a very different Gospel based on a very different theoloy. A Protestant cannot abide Trent.

          • Anton

            Rome is entirely Trinitarian and so are we. The differences come after that: idolatry toward Mary, how we are justified, politicisation of the church, hierarchies. But I know Catholics who love Christ.

          • carl jacobs

            Are you saying that being Trinitarian is the only essential theology of a Christian?

          • Anton

            Taking ‘theology’ in its proper sense of the question of what is and is not divine (ie, distinct from ecclesiology and many other -ologies that the Bible covers), I’d say that essential Christian theology means believing in the equal and undivided divinity of the Creator of all things, of the man Jesus of Nazareth and of the Holy Spirit; and of nothing or nobody else.

          • carl jacobs

            Brother Jed Smock would agree with your Trinitarian description. Of course he is an out-and-out Pelagian. When I heard him speak, I heard him say that he hadn’t sinned in ten years.

            Is the truth in him?

          • Anton

            He’s an invention of yours. Can you genuinely find someone who affirms faith in the equal and undivided divinity of the Creator of all things, the man Jesus of Nazareth and the Holy Spirit, and in nothing or nobody else, yet who claims not to have sinned for a decade?

            This exchange arose from my comment, “To all who believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, fully man and fully divine in the same sense as the Creator of all things, fraternal greetings at this time of year when He was crucified, died and rose from the dead!” If you wish not to extend similar greetings then by all means don’t.

          • carl jacobs

            What do you mean “He is an invention?”

            http://www.brojed.org/cms/

            I heard him speak in person on the common ground in the middle of my campus on the Fall of 1980. I heard him say “I have not sinned in ten years.” I have read his defense of Pelagius.

          • Anton

            I humbly apologise; you Americans have such colourful names that I was convinced he was a caricature you had intended.

            I don’t intend to discuss Pelagius because we don’t have him in his own words, only the words of his opponents. As for Bro Jed Smock, if you talk too much nonsense for too long it will get to your theology. Only God knows exactly where Smock is right now.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s OK. :-). I always have to look up how to spell his name because I don’t quite believe it either.

          • “Rome teaches a very different Gospel based on a very different theology.”

            Certainly the Catholic Church deplores and rejects the gross distortions of God set forth by Calvin.

            “A Protestant cannot abide Trent

            Most are clueless about it.

  • pobjoy

    The person who was crucified was the same person as the creator; though not in the same ‘presence’ or persona.

    Only the supernal deity is perfect in righteousness; there is ‘none beside’ him. A Christian is one who is accounted as possessing the same holiness as that of the supernal deity, by faith in the perfected atonement of the person crucified. If that crucified one was imperfect, there can be no salvation.

    • dannybhoy

      He became fully man, fully dependent on the Father, anointed and guided by the Holy Spirit. He knew at His bar mitzvah that He was born for a mission.

      Note, when addressing the chief priests and elders, He said.
      ” Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”

      He doesn’t say “I can.” He says “I can appeal to my Father….”

  • preacher

    How dreadful is sin if this is the price – How terrible is Hell’s suffering if it cost the Lord so much to redeem us ? But how great is His love for us that He was willing to face it until it was finished – Paid in full !.

  • IanCad

    Thank you YG for your Good Friday message.
    Always thoughtful, always needed and looked forward to. There may be several for whom your editorial is their only connection to a truly Christ centered Easter season. Also a great blessing for those who may not be able to attend a worship service.

  • chiefofsinners

    Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
    Heb 13:12-14.

  • sarky

    Thought the readers may find this amusing.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-35899023

    • Pubcrawler

      I’ll grant you, that is an amusing ‘oops!’

      Rather less embarrassing than the ‘Wicked Bible’, at least.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_Bible

      • Anton

        Trust you saw the Cambridge University Library copy on display for the KJB’s 400th?

        • Pubcrawler

          No, I sort of didn’t get round to it.

          • Anton

            The KJV was read right through during daylight hours at Great St Mary’s, which took much of a fortnight; were you at any of that? I was there for (as it happened) part of Jeremiah.

  • carl jacobs

    Look how he dies. Cry, Creator, cry! This is my day to stand upon the breast of God and claim my victory over love. You lost the gamble. In but an hour you lover will be pulp upon the gallows. Did you tell him when his fingers formed the world that he would die on Terra, groaning with his hands crushed and whimpering in my great machine?

    Now is the Prince of this world driven out.