Mar. 29 – Good Friday                                      Read Luke 23:33-49

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.

When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.


from William B. Allen, Regional Minister Emeritus

            Our passage vibrates with God’s power and love as it recounts the remarkable encounter of God and humanity, the epic clash of good and evil.  Here we find Jesus Christ doing exactly what he came to earth to do – to save us by giving up his life that we might have total and eternal life.  Luke 23:46 is probably the most powerful and crucial moment in human history.  It is the announcement of God’s accomplishment of God’s will. “Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Having said this, he breathed his last.”

The two criminals give us insights into our understanding of the moment.  One just didn’t get it.  “Save yourself and us.”  Jesus was saving all creation, but criminal No. 1 didn’t see it – even though it was happening before his very eyes.  Criminal No. 2 perceived the wonderful gift and joined the Savior that very day in Paradise.

Our Lenten journey is our preparation to observe and comprehend God’s great gift in Jesus there at Calvary.

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.


Prayerscapes for Lent is presented by the Order of Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia.  ©2013.  All rights reserved.  Duplication and distribution for profit is not permitted.