Good Friday – One Little Word 7/04/2023

Matthew 27:33-44

33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means ‘the place of the skull’). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, ‘You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!’ 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, “I am the Son of God.”’ 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

There is one little word that can fell Christ in your heart.

It was the word that the Deceiver used right at the beginning of Jesus’ 3 year public mission to put Jesus off his game and take the easy road which was a road to more darkness, deception and death.

The one little word that fell Jesus in your heart?


‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’

‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written:

‘“He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”’

‘If you will bow down and worship me, all this I will give you,’.’

And now, at the pointy end of his mission, when the blood meets the wood in the fierce battle of the Deceiver and the Messiah, that same little word is voiced by the very people who say they know God and are serving him but think Jesus’ dying is a joke.

If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!’

‘You who said you are going to destroy the magnificent temple and re-build it in three days….. save yourself!

41 … The chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him.

42 ‘He saved others,’ they said, ‘but he can’t save himself!

He’s the ‘king of Israel’! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, “I am the Son of God.”’

Yes, come down from that cross of pain, Jesus. It’s ugly and brutal and unnecessary.

Just feed the world with bread and science and technology and medicine that helps us live longer.

Just protect us and our happy lifestyle. Keep us safe and healthy and uninterrupted, please.

Just go along with things. Help us be powerful and prosperous and beautiful and peaceful. And make sure we church people enjoy high status in the community.

Now if you did these things more, we would believe in you more.

But this cross and this suffering and this forsaken dying.

Come down from that cross, Jesus, if you really want to make a ‘positive difference’ in the world, that is.

The Saviour of the world stays on that cross for another six hours. It seems he is not interested in saving the world by more bread, more safety and happiness for more progress and power.

He is obviously giving up his life for something else; someone else

Is it because he knows that;

All the bread in the world is not enough to feed the world with what will really change it for the better: forgiveness, reconciliation between warring friends, family, country: lasting peace inside the human heart and between us.

All the safety and security is not enough. It is not stave off suffering, pain, loss and dying. These things are in the world and in us because we continue to rack up of a truck load of idol making and chasing by which we trust ourselves other people and other things more than the work of this man on the cross for us. The wages of such consistent insulting of God’s promised hope and life and love is death from all his gifts of love.

All the beauty and ease and prosperity of all we know and see in whatever country in which we set foot is not enough to carry us into a whole new creation, a whole new relationship of love and hope with the God of all principalities and powers operating in a broken world.

His parables, his recalling of the Scriptures and his miracles say as much.

So why stay in that shameful place and cop all the insults of a humanity who think he is a joke?

Because he was sent by someone for someone. He has a mission to fulfill that is of little benefit to him but of huge reward for you.

The Father loved you so fully and completely that he sent this man, his own divine Son, to save you from yourself, not condemn you to endless death.

That scrambling to gather bread, that living the way you want based on your ideas and hopes ad dreams while praying to God to help you make it all happen, that fitting in with the drive for success and comfortability and ease  is heaped on this man on this cross fort you.

Through no payment, success, hard work, good score of good behaviour you simply gifted endless life in this love, this hope, this joy in this suffering life.

Stay on that cross, Jesus. Like those taking in your dead beaten body at the last, we can only confess, “You are the Son of God, no ‘if’s of buts”.

We stand amazed and we are captured. We are marvel at the grace in the pain, the love on show for creatures and planet.

We know need every ounce of your suffering, every drop of your blood, every insult hurled. It is how your love wins; it breaks through and calls us back and sets us free to love and give and live.

Now you are the one little word that can fell our wayward heart and even that Deciever who loves to have our hearts from his dark arts.

Yes Jesus, stay on that cross today. Let your love live. We want to truly live, no ifs or buts.

Surely you are the Son of God, no joke.





Sunday 8:45am
(1st + 3rd of Month)