Homily for Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord
Theme: “[Jesus] said; “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit” (John 19:30).
By: Father Emma Okwaraocha
Homily for Friday April 10 2020
The above referenced Jesus’ last utterance before expiring on the wooden Cross is taken from today’s long Gospel reading that narrates his Passion and Death (John 18:1-19:42). “It is finished” might figuratively sound like a sigh of relief by someone undergoing some excruciating pains of unimaginable physical and emotional torture and couldn’t wait to see an end to his ugly and miserable condition. In as much as Christ’s sufferings especially, “the Scourging at the Pillar,” and the eventual Crucifixion were the most cruel forms of punishments, his last words were a different message.
“It is finished” was sort of Jesus’ declaration of ‘mission accomplished,’ ‘the assignment is done,’ ‘the work is completed.’ Jesus Christ – truly God and truly man brought the Good News of Salvation to humanity by preaching, teaching, healing, feeding, and ultimately, freeing us sin and death by dying on the Cross on a day like today.
“It is finished” meant that Jesus paid in full the price of our sin and purchased our freedom and salvation with his death on the Cross. It was a full payment and not a partial payment. It was not as if he dropped a ‘down payment’ as we usually do in most of our major transactions. It was literally a case of ‘cash n’ carry.’ Succinctly put, our salvation was paid in full on the wooden Cross of Calvary! How about that?
Suffice it to say that Jesus endured his sufferings and died for our own good; “by his stripes we were healed” (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24). Jesus died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). He died to save me. In other words, ‘I have been saved by the blood of Jesus.’ Off course, yes! Still, because salvation is a material of choice owing to our respective individually God-given free will (Mark 16:16, Revelation 3:20), one has the ability to either receive salvation or reject it; receive Christ or reject him; to remain in sin or get out of sin via repentance and conversion, so on. The choice is ours. May we choose wisely. I’m not oblivious of the fact that we are saved by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). In like manner, I’m also aware that I should work out my salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I always be aware that you purchased me with your precious blood that was shed on the Cross of Calvary. I acknowledge that I still sin day by day. Give me the spiritual strength to cooperate with you grace and repent from my sins. Guide me to always exercise my God-given free will positively and continue to work out my salvation with fear and trembling.