"You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." John 11.50
These words of the High Priest, Caiaphas, were intended as a cowardly excuse for getting rid of Jesus. Yet they speak prophetically of what Jesus was about to achieve, despite the worst intentions of the unholy alliance of Jewish and Roman authorities, who collaborated to torture and murder him. In fact, the significance of Jesus sacrificial death extends to all nations!
A colleague once remarked about Good Friday: this is where the rubber hits the road. What he meant, of course, is that Jesus' willingness to endure the physical, mental and spiritual horror of arrest, interrogation and death on a cross proves the integrity of God's incarnation and redemption. In other words, this was no cheap gesture on God's part: he paid with his life; and he did not visit the earth in a bubble of privilege; he did it the hard way.
At this point, words become inadequate, so why not come together (virtually!) at 3pm, when we would normally gather around the cross in the community garden at Broadford, and linger awhile in silent awe at what he did - for you, for me, for everyone:
"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."