Jesus Passion and Death
Reflection on the Gospel of the GOOD FRIDAY
The crucified Jesus, knowing for certain that everything has been accomplished, says: ‘I thirst’. It is quite normal for a crucified person who has lost a lot of blood to feel terribly thirsty. But the evangelist tells us that Jesus said ‘I thirst’ in order to fulfil the scripture, indicating that his primary concern was to save as many souls as possible, not only during his ministry but even on the cross, is to fulfil the Father’s will and to complete his mission.
Jesus, realising that his mission has now been accomplished, bowed his head and ‘handed over his spirit’. Jesus’ death on the cross is a Spirit-giving death. Just as the risen Jesus breathes the Spirit on the disciples (20:22), the dying Jesus gives the Spirit (19:30). Jesus’ death on the cross is life-giving because he gives the Spirit that is life-giving. The Spirit which had descended like a dove from heaven and remained on Jesus at the time of his baptism is handed over when he breathes his last.
Jesus’ death is both life-giving and Spirit-giving, especially to those who look on him with faith. Jesus lays down his life by shedding his blood, the symbol of life, and pours out the living water, the symbol of the life-giving Holy Spirit, so that all may have life in abundance.
Jesus you died that we may have life. Give us the grace that we may continually die to ourselves to be your worthy disciples and give life to our brothers and sisters in need.