Holy Friday: The Crucifixion

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On this day we commemorate the sufferings of Christ:

The mockery, the crown of thorns, the scourging, the nails, the thirst, the vinegar and gall, the cry of desolation, and all the Savior endured on the Cross.

The day of Christ’s death is the day of sin.

The sin which polluted God’s creation from the breaking dawn of time reached its frightful climax on the hill of Golgotha. There, sin and evil, destruction and death came into their own. Ungodly men had Him nailed to the Cross, in order to destroy Him. However, His death condemned irrevocably the fallen world by revealing its true and abnormal nature.

In Christ, who is the New Adam, there is no sin. And, therefore, there is no death.

He accepted death because He assumed the whole tragedy of our life. He chose to pour His life into death, in order to destroy it, and in order to break the hold of evil. His death is the final and ultimate revelation of His perfect obedience and love. He suffered for us the excruciating pain of absolute solitude and alienation, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me!” (Mark 15:34).

Then, He accepted the ultimate horror of death with the agonizing cry, “It is finished” (John 19:30). His cry was at one and the same time an indication that He was in control of His death and that His work of redemption was accomplished, finished, fulfilled.

Great Friday and Saturday direct our attention to the trial, crucifixion, death and burial of Christ.

We are placed within the awesome mystery of the extreme humility of our suffering God. Therefore, these days are at once days of deep gloom as well as watchful expectation.

The Author of life is at work transforming death into life: “Come, let us see our Life lying in the tomb, that he may give life to those that in their tombs lie dead.”

– Sticheron of Great Saturday Orthros

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