Great and Holy Friday 30 April 2021 Byzantine Rite

Christ died so that we may live; God became man so that man could become God.

            Since the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin have intended His death and disgrace.  Their fear was that if the way of Our Lord came to be known as the way of the Jews, the armies of Rome would fall upon them and destroy their temple, their livelihoods, and claim many of their lives.  They branded Him an enemy of the State, though much that He taught should have found Him blameless of such a charge; never the less, the long-prophesied king of the Jews must not appear, lest the authority of the status quo come under threat, and the uppity subjects need put in their place.

            With as much viral enthusiasm as brought out hoards of people to sing Hosanna just days ago, now hoards cry for Blood: “Crucify Him!”

            Though in the hour before His arrest Our Lord prayed “Let this cup pass before Me,” He did also accept that “never the less, let Thy will be done,” and acquiesced to deliver Himself to His persecutors, stand trial, be tortured and crucified.  Even as He hung there, He recounted the Prophets with Psalms, and soldiers fulfilled those same prophecies by casting lots for His garments. Even after It Is Consummated, and His last mortal breath left Him, He expressed water from the wound in His side, negating a need to break His legs, and so He vouched Himself the perfect Pascal sacrifice, with no bone in His Body broken.  And the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom, because the Holy of Holies was opened to the whole universe, and a New Covenant was established.

            As many as are baptized unto Christ are baptized unto His death.  It’s a troubling thing about this life: no one gets out of it alive.  As we have inherited the egoistic nature of the first Adam, we all have that to look forward to.  Jesus was truly man, and so He did as men do.  He suffered and died.  We who hope in His Name suffer and die with Him. For Our Lord is a loving God and will raise us up.  Just you wait and see.

~Mor Clement

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