Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Friday, March 29, 2024 – Good Friday

By Rev. Tim Best, Senior Associate Pastor

God With Us

Psalm 22

I was in college when I learned that Jesus’s “cry of dereliction” was from Psalm 22. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that Jesus relied upon scripture to express himself in a moment beyond words. In the midst of suffering Jesus relies upon the wisdom and words of scripture. When we fail to acknowledge that Jesus is invoking scripture, we think he is just invoking raw emotion. Rather, Jesus is interpreting his own experience of suffering through the language of the 22nd Psalm. Any doubts that lingered about Christ’s humanity are dashed upon the hard edge of his cry of anguish. Yet, because he invokes this Psalm, we see that his trust and obedience to the Father remains steadfast. 

In his suffering Jesus shows us the way to encounter our own suffering, and how to seek God in the midst of that suffering. First, Jesus shows us that scripture gives us the words to be honest. It is not faithful to pretend as if our suffering isn’t real, or that it is not truly suffering. Jesus voices a sense of abandonment, calling out “My God, why have you forsaken me?” When we feel abandoned or dejected, we too can cry out to God truthfully. Second, Jesus demonstrates how thoroughly scripture can be a source of vocabulary and language for us. When we do not have words, we can pray through scripture. 

All this week it has been tempting to rush towards the victory of Easter. Yet, their is no victory if there is no Friday. We all experience suffering and pain. In Christ’s own suffering we see a solidarity with our humanity, another lived example of what “God with us” actually means. 


O God, You who sent your Son into the world to know and endure our suffering; grant that in the midst of our own suffering we would know you hear our prayers and care about our plight. Prepare our hearts for Easter that we may know the joy of your love in the good times and the bad. Amen.

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