Friday, April 14, 2006

~Good Friday~

Isaiah 53 [from "The Message" Version of the Bible]

1Who believes what we've heard and seen?

Who would have thought GOD's saving power would look like this?

2The servant grew up before God--a scrawny seedling,

a scrubby plant in a parched field.

There was nothing attractive about him,

nothing to cause us to take a second look.

3He was looked down on and passed over,

a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.

One look at him and people turned away.

We looked down on him, thought he was scum.

4But the fact is, it was our pains he carried--

our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.

We thought he brought it on himself,

that God was punishing him for his own failures.

5But it was our sins that did that to him,

that ripped and tore and crushed him--our sins!

He took the punishment, and that made us whole.

Through his bruises we get healed.

6We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost.

We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.

And GOD has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong,

on him, on him.

7He was beaten, he was tortured,

but he didn't say a word.

Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered

and like a sheep being sheared,

he took it all in silence.

8Justice miscarried, and he was led off--

and did anyone really know what was happening?

He died without a thought for his own welfare,

beaten bloody for the sins of my people.

9They buried him with the wicked,

threw him in a grave with a rich man,

Even though he'd never hurt a soul

or said one word that wasn't true.

10Still, it's what GOD had in mind all along,

to crush him with pain.

The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin

so that he'd see life come from it--life, life, and more life.

And GOD's plan will deeply prosper through him.

11Out of that terrible travail of soul,

he'll see that it's worth it and be glad he did it.

Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,

will make many "righteous ones,"

as he himself carries the burden of their sins.

12Therefore I'll reward him extravagantly--

the best of everything, the highest honors--

Because he looked death in the face and didn't flinch,

because he embraced the company of the lowest.

He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,

he took up the cause of all the black sheep.


Matthew 27 [New Living Translation]

Some of the governor's soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. 29They made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they placed a stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery, yelling, "Hail! King of the Jews!" 30And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and beat him on the head with it. 31When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

32As they were on the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene,[e] and they forced him to carry Jesus' cross. 33Then they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means Skull Hill). 34The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.

35After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.[f] 36Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. 37A signboard was fastened to the cross above Jesus' head, announcing the charge against him. It read: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews."

38Two criminals were crucified with him, their crosses on either side of his. 39And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. 40"So! You can destroy the Temple and build it again in three days, can you? Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!"

41The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders also mocked Jesus. 42"He saved others," they scoffed, "but he can't save himself! So he is the king of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him! 43He trusted God--let God show his approval by delivering him! For he said, `I am the Son of God.' " 44And the criminals who were crucified with him also shouted the same insults at him.

The Death of Jesus

45At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock. 46At about three o'clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"[g]

47Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 48One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a stick so he could drink. 49But the rest said, "Leave him alone. Let's see whether Elijah will come and save him."[h]

50Then Jesus shouted out again, and he gave up his spirit. 51At that moment the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead 53after Jesus' resurrection. They left the cemetery, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.[i]

54The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, "Truly, this was the Son of God!"


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