On the night Jesus was betrayed, he had dinner with his friends. But they would all abandon him later that night.
That same night, Jesus was trapped by his enemies, who wanted him dead. Having nowhere on earth to turn, he turned to God the Father. God didn’t come to his rescue.
Within hours, Jesus was violently hustled out of Jerusalem. He was nailed by the limbs to a cross—transfixed to a gibbet by hate and rejection.
And yet, as the shadow of death suffocated his life, he prayed for the forgiveness of those who harmed him.
And he was heard.
In the depths of human despair, when God seemed to be nowhere, yet God was acting to save. When screams of hate and betrayal seemed to drown out cries for love and reconciliation, God was listening. When God seemed callously absent, he was there in the One he had sent. At the moment Jesus seemed to have failed, he triumphed over all.
Things are not always as they seem.
There is a reason to celebrate the death of this man. There is a reason this terrible Friday is called ‘Good’.
‘Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again.’