Why is this day different from any other day?

On this day we remember the sacrifice that was made as Jesus Christ was betrayed, arrested, beaten, and falsely accused by those who were willing to condemn an innocent man. In a travesty of justice, Jesus received a sentence of death. He was tasked with carrying his own crossbeam from which he would hang until he died.

Not one person who Jesus healed, not one person with whom he prayed nor anyone with whom he had fellowship, would stand by him. His disciples – who he called to serve with him, whom he taught, whose family members he healed – did not step forward on Jesus’ behalf. No one stepped forward to stop those who were perpetrating a falsehood that Jesus was dangerous.

Those people who remained on the sidelines, but who had known Jesus, were afraid to come forward to speak the truth of Jesus’ innocence. In doing so, – they allowed an innocent man to die. Jesus hung on a cross after being beaten, ridiculed, and abandoned by those who should have stood with him.  Because of their fear of the retribution of being aligned with this “criminal,” Jesus died alone.

When have you felt betrayed that a friend did not speak out on your behalf? Was there a time when you were going through a great challenge yet no one who was close to you stood with you?

If we turn this around: was there a time when you did not speak up on behalf of a friend?  Or failed to walk with a friend along the journey during a difficult time? It is hard to admit those times when we were not the kind of friend that was needed.

The good news is that we can learn from our experiences and recognize that God continues to love us, and teaches us through the mistakes we make.