Footprints daily reflection: 10 April
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Author: Rev Dr Liz Hughes (Chair, Christian Aid Ireland)
So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him…’
I have often conducted a Service of Tenebrae (Shadows) on the evening of Good Friday. During that service of quiet reflection, the whole congregation would watch the story of the crucifixion on the screen with the words spoken by the actors coming directly from John’s gospel. There would be a pause as each stage of the story unfolded to lower the lights in the church building until with Christ’s cry of “it is finished” there was no light at all and the whole building was in darkness.
The choir or a solo voice would then begin to sing “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?”
Every year whatever form it takes the retelling of the Good Friday story reminds me afresh of the poignancy of Christ’s sacrifice and the darkness of that moment of utter abandonment.
I find myself reflecting very personally that Christ did all that for me and that has massive implications for how I live my life.
But almost in the same breath I also reflect that Christ died for all – ‘God so loved the world that he gave His Only Son”. Following in Jesus footprints takes us to the cross today but even as we kneel there – those same footprints lead us out into the world whose pain and brokenness Christ took upon his shoulders.
For further reflection: If there is a Good Friday Walk in your area – you might like to join in - following and carrying the cross. And if that’s not possible why not do your own Good Friday walk reflecting step by step where following in Christ’s footprints may be leading you.
Were the whole realm of nature mine
that were an offering far too small,
love so amazing so divine
demands my soul my life my all.
Rev Dr Liz Hughes is the Chair of Christian Aid Ireland. She is a retired minister of Whitehouse Presbyterian Church. Rev Hughes and her husband served as missionaries in churches in Jamaica from 1987-96, fuelling her special interest in Global Mission, and the learnings from the developing church context.