Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this 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.By modern measurements, the sun would have rose in Jerusalem this morning at 6:36 AM with high temperatures approaching 80 Degrees. Winds would have been light and steady , blowing in from the southern Deserts, with no chance of rain. On that first Good Friday as the city was waking up, Jesus' ordeal had been under way for several hours. Its easy to overlook sometimes, but by now, Jesus had likely been up for over 24 hours. And, for the past few hours, he had already undergone two sham trials before Annas and Caiaphas where he was exposed to both physical and verbal abuse. Now, we was being led to stand before the Roman governor, bound and beaten. In an act of expediency Pontius Pilate would dismiss Jesus, referring him to Herod. Herod, in-turn, would send him back to the Roman Governor who's legionnaire's will have beaten him within the limits of his life (a beating capable of killing most), before finally nailing him to the cross. In the next nine hours, Jesus will have experienced an ordeal that's beyond our comprehension.
The cast of actors on this day were a broad and diverse bunch. There were the members of the Jewish religious establishment who for quite some time, looked for an opportunity to rid themselves of this troublesome Galilean. There was the Roman Governor who wanted no more trouble than he already had. There were guards and soldiers. There were followers, Apostles, and others who by providence were celebrating the Passover, "This year in Jerusalem". Central to it all though, was the second person of the Trinity. Jesus, Son of the living God.
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