Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven, and said:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. ….I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
~John 17:1, 4-5
If you have a Bible where the words of Jesus appear in color, Jesus literally lights up John 14-17. In his last night on earth Jesus speaks and prays urgently, culminating in what is known as the “high priestly prayer.”
In this prayer, and in the actions that follow it, Jesus takes on the role of the Jerusalem priest who each year on the day of atonement would offer a sacrifice for the sins of the nation.
In Jesus’ prayer, we hear the themes of glory and eternity intertwined, almost in a circular way. Jesus has glorified the Father; the Father will glorify him. But although the glory will manifest in new, earth-shaking ways, that glory has never been absent. Jesus has never been without it. Glory has been his since before there was time, and it will be his forever.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
He is the same. This is true on Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday, and any other day. Jesus on Good Friday is Jesus on Easter morning. He is unchanging—and so even as we recall the grief and violence of Jesus’ death, as we are aware of the sin in our world that causes grief and violence now, we can exhale. We can be secure, because it is finished.
On Good Friday we mourn everything that is broken. We mourn the things we have personally broken—with sinful actions, words, and thoughts. We mourn the ways humanity has collectively broken God’s beautiful creation. We mourn the broken body of Jesus.
But we remember that even in death, Jesus displayed his glory.
And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said: “Truly this man was the Son of God.”
Today: Keep Jesus in your mind today. If it helps, bring to your mind a picture of Jesus on the cross, maybe a representation you’ve seen in a church or museum or film. Say to yourself: Truly, this man was the Son of God.
Perhaps you’re familiar with these words from a liturgical prayer: Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
This is glory without end. Amen.
Meditations written by Meghan Blosser.