Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isa 53:12 NIV)
Amongst the millions following Jesus, there are many great, big and strong, who all fall prostrate before him into the dust as they are weak before his almighty majesty and live entirely off his grace. Not only does the light of his majesty fall into this Good Friday evening, but we also hear the tread of millions, who are now moving towards his silent and hidden grave. We hear their mourning songs as if the oceans roar so loud and global. It is already in progress this ecumenical, catholic and worldwide pilgrimage of saved sinners coming country for country, generation for generation, one age after the other to give him all the glory and to confess, that Golgotha where his cross was erected and the grave, where his body rested for just a short while, is the centre of the universe and of all history.
His soul did some hard work. Now however it rejoices in the bliss of Paradise and all those souls are following – the souls of those, whom he pardoned and forgave – the robber hanging next to him, the sinners he met on the road, who couldn’t find peace until they found him and peace within. O what rest for tired and heavy burdened souls, that have found him on his Good Friday evening.
How happy and blessed we are in life and death + and all because of the powerful salvation achieved by Jesus Christ on Good Friday there on Golgotha. He worked himself to death for us, pouring out his life unto death – for us and our salvation + He was counted amongst the robbers, criminals and violent transgressors, he carried the sins of all and prayed for the transgressors!
O silent, blessed Good Friday! O evening after a hard days work, o lovely evening star after darkness filled day! O divine rest for sinners! O hope of eternal life, o blessed end of suffering, passion and tears! Lord have mercy on us in your kingdom, grant and keep us in your great peace from which all joy grows and hope too. Have mercy on us o Lord, grant us your peace o Jesus + Amen.
This is a translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Good Friday. It is found on Pg. 157 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.