Warning! This blog is religious in nature. So if you are not into that sort of thing, I warned you!
The reason that I am heading down the religious path is because today is Good Friday! This is one of the biggest days in Christendom. This is the day that the Christian world commemorates the crucifixion, martyrdom of Jesus Christ. The legend goes that Jesus died on the cross and then three days later was resurrected from the dead on the following Sunday (first day of the week).
You might be perplexed as to why this day is called, “Good.” Well you are in good company. Some churches have changed the name to Black Friday or Holy Friday. No one really knows where the Good concept came from. I have heard theories ranging from the fact that it was God Friday, which over time became Good, to the concept that we are saying Goodbye to the old self prior to Resurrection Sunday. Who knows.
I like to dive into things that I have not thought about in a while, so I decided to crack open the Bible, specifically, the 4 Synoptic Gospels that account for this story. Each of these writings in the Christian Bible, tell effectively the same story. Each accounting as a witness of what occurred when Jesus Christ roamed the earth. The are not always in harmony, and some include stories that the others do not. However, all 4 of them share the events leading up to the Crucifixion of Jesus.
One particular thing that stared out at me that I had not realized, was how many times Jesus either prayed himself or encouraged others to pray to God while he was going through the ordeal. Sort of interesting, in the time of crisis, which he was certainly going through, prayer was what he returned to the most. If you are a Christian, then you may want to consider this fact. Jesus himself turned to prayer when suffering a overwhelming trial, should you consider the same approach?
For your consideration, starting from the night that it was recorded that Jesus was arrested, here are the moments that he turned to prayer:
- Matthew, Mark record that Jesus communed with his disciples at the Feast of the Passover with prayer and communion
- John adds that Jesus instructed them on how to pray to God and also prayed to the disciples to bring them a Comforter
- Matthew, Mark, Luke record that Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in order to pray. Luke adds that Jesus prayed more earnestly.
- John adds that Jesus offered a great Intercessory Prayer, and records what Jesus prayed for.
- Matthew, Mark, Luke record that Jesus encouraged his disciples to also pray while he was praying in the garden.
- Matthew, Mark record that Jesus prayed a second time in the Garden.
- Matthew, Mark record that Jesus went a third time to the Garden to pray.
- Luke records that Jesus prayed for the people that were executing him.
- Matthew, Mark records that Jesus prayed to God asking why he had been forsaken while hanging from the cross
- Matthew, Mark, Luke record that Jesus prayed one last final time before dying.
So there, the gospels all talk of the prayers that Jesus offered during the final moments of his life. It seems, as it were, that prayer is really important. Although I have included prayer in my 365 commitment for quite some time, I think I could learn some lessons from this exercise today. Good Friday has taught me to be more mindful in my exercise of prayer. If Jesus, perhaps the most influential person to ever walk the earth, turned to prayer in his time of need then why shouldn’t I?
Very inspirational. I like the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21“Jesus prayed, I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, father, are in me, and I in you. That they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
As Jesus prays for his disciples through the first 19 or so verses. And then you get to verse 20. And he starts praying not just for his disciples who were around him at that time, but for all who would believe in Jesus through their testimony. He prayed for all who would someday believe in Jesus as their Lord and savior! WOW!