Good Friday

Crucifixion: Albrecht Durer

Crucifixion: Albrecht Durer

A homily

Crucifixion is probably the most barbarous death ever devised. It was used by the Romans, not only as a punishment, but as a deterrent: anyone tempted to rebellion would think long and hard if once they had seen someone crucified. It is the death to which the Lord Jesus Christ went, freely and of his own will, for the salvation of the whole creation, throughout all time. Totally innocent of all sin, he took the sin of the whole human race upon himself. Offering his perfect life to the Father, he won our forgiveness, and brought us back to God.

Forgiveness lies at the very heart of the love of God which we see in Jesus. This Good Friday I want to put before you those words of Jesus, as he first experienced those great iron spikes being driven into his hands and feet. And he prays: ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do’. There are two inspired lines in the hymn by Graham Kendrick we call, ‘The Servant King’. The writer says of the Lord Jesus,

‘hands that flung stars into space
to cruel nails surrendered.’

In these few words he reminds us just who it is who lies upon the ground being nailed to his cross: it is the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who emptied himself of glory and took our flesh: not just to live among us, though that would have been wonderful enough, but to die with us and for us, to share our death so that we might share his resurrection. Such love, such forgiveness.

You may know the words of this prayer, found in one of the concentration camps of the Second World War: places which mark, as nowhere else, the utter cruelty and depravity of which human beings are capable. This prayer was written by an inmate of the camp, one who had to suffer at the hands of his or her captors. This prisoner prayed:

O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not only remember the suffering they have inflicted on us, remember the fruits we bought, thanks to this suffering: our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this. And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.
(Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home. HarperOne, 1992. page 224)

Such love – such forgiveness


About Scott Anderson

Formerly an Anglican priest (ordained 1975) received into the Catholic Church in February 2012, and ordained to the Diaconate on 27th July 2013. I took early retirement, and divide my time between London and northern France. I am deeply committed to the Ordinariate as a gift of the Holy Spirit in the search for unity. Like many Ordinariate members I feel a personal gratitude to Pope Emeritus Benedict, together with loyalty to our Holy Father, Pope Francis. My blog tries to make a small contribution to the growth of the Ordinariate by asking questions (and proposing some answers) about the 'Anglican Patrimony'. I have always been fascinated by the whole issue of growth and decline, and therefore concerned for appropriate means of evangelisation in western Europe. I believe that the Holy Spirit is constantly renewing the People of God and that we must be open to him. My love of music and motorcycles will occasionally surface in my posts. On Saturday 19th October 2013, I was ordained to the Priesthood at Most Precious Blood, Borough, by the Most Revd Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, for the service of the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham. I continued to serve the Ordinariate group and Parish at Most Precious Blood until the end of 2014. Subsequently, I helped in the care of the Ordinariate Groups at Hemel Hempstead and Croydon, and in the Archdiocese of Southwark, until the beginning of September 2015. With the agreement of my Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, the Bishop of Amiens appointed me Administrator of the Parish of Notre Dame des Etangs (Pont Remy) in Picardie, France. This appointment is to last for a year, to give the Bishop the opportunity to assess the future of the parish.
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2 Responses to Good Friday

  1. Harry says:

    Yes, I find those two lines from ‘Servant King’ a very moving reminder of the truth of Christ’s self emptying of himself for us and the depth of his love for all.

  2. Rhiannon says:

    We sang that in Chelmsford cathedral for my licensing

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