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  • Rev. David Lyddon


Luke 23v32-43

Good Friday reminds us that our God is a God who enters our darkness and our sinfulness but is not overcome by it. We cannot plead innocence in this world as everyday people are beaten, tortured, and killed, with the needless suffering of many. The cross of Jesus’ death shows us most clearly our own alienation from God.

As the apostle John wrote in his letter to the church – ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.’ The reality of evil is all around us, yet despite humanity’s waywardness, there are still moments of grace and redemption in the world.

All the evil in the world cannot destroy the spirit of love, and the events of Good Friday stand forever to prove it. Forgiveness is at once the most costly and most powerful weapon in the world. It is costly because it begins for each one of us at the foot of the cross.

Jesus had taught his disciples to forgive each other and to forgive their enemies as the only way to redeem the past and move on creatively into the future. As Jesus is crucified, he cries out – ‘Father, forgive them.’ Jesus prays that out of this experience, may come a new hope and a new start for those who follow him. Here is good, face to face with evil, and Jesus wants his disciples to do the same.

Forgiveness is not concerned with covering up the past but is concerned with facing the past in such a creative way as to make possible a new and better future. One of the basic Christian truths of which we are reminded at this time, is that nothing can happen to us, however evil, that good cannot come out of it. Forgiveness, after all, brings new life, both to the one who is forgiven and the one who forgives. Only when we know we are forgiven and practise that kind of forgiveness in our own lives, do we begin to share in Christ’s risen life.

The cross declares the profound truth of God’s love for each of us and of forgiveness as shown by Jesus. Good Friday is the day above all days that should bring us to our knees in penitence before the cross of Jesus.

***ANNOUNCEMENT! We are delighted to be able to reopen St Paul's church for in person services - in time for Easter! For details of our events and services during Holy Week, check out our Services at St Paul's and Church At Home Pages.****

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