Read: Luke 23:32-47; Luke 24:13-21, 25-27, 32

Reflect: Two men, criminals, hung on crosses next to Jesus. One spewed anger from a faithless heart. The other confessed sin and pled mercy from a desperate heart. Jesus promised paradise to the second.

Two men, disciples, try to make sense of what they had witnessed: Jesus beaten, tortured, bleeding, and dying on a cross. Hopes dashed. From the Scriptures, as He had told them before, Jesus explained the meaning of His story: His Father had planned the redeeming, His suffering was necessary, His dying was their deliverance, His sacrifice purchased their forgiveness, and His accomplishment assured them paradise.

Their hearts moved from shocked disbelief through grief, terror, and despair, until His truth caused their hearts to burn with this reality: a Savior has come to die for us, poor sinners all, in our place. Our soul’s threat is removed and we can breathe again.

When hearts and minds clearly see both the facts and the meaning of Good Friday, life begins to make sense. Hope gains more substance than a wish. It has a name: Jesus.

Ponder:

  • Which heart is yours today – faithless, desperately trusting, despairing, or burning with Jesus’ presence and truth?
  • Is there someone you can help grasp the facts and the meaning of Good Friday today?

Pray: Jesus, you died for my sin. You took my death sentence, so I could be forgiven and walk free. May the fountain of Your grace fill and overflow my heart, so other hearts may know the delight of Your love.

Global Hope: Pray that the people of southeast Asia and India will see the cross of Christ as an invitation to deliverance and hope.