Good Friday

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine

by Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 🌿Psalm 22 🌿 Hebrews 10:16-25 🌿 John 18:1-19:42

Any visitor to the Church of All Nations at the Garden of Gethsemane on the base of the Mount of Olives knows the color of the church’s stained glass windows. A dark rich purple represents the robe Christ wore just before his death. The light inside the church looks dark and somber. Built to commemorate Christ’s betrayal, the garden and holy site are a good place to remember and reflect upon the crucifixion.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

When Pilot gave them a chance to release Him, saying: “I find no basis for a charge against him,” Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe… and as soon as the people saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” (John 19:1-6)

Good Friday’s significance reminds anyone experiencing suffering and brokenness that the story is not yet over. Peace in the Middle East seems far and distant. Peace between Israelis and Palestinians seems further away than ever before – just as the darkness overwhelmed on that solemn day before Christ’s crucifixion. Jews worldwide continue to face discrimination and hatred, ardent anti-Semitism is ever-present and growing. Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza live without daily freedoms, self-determination, and human liberty. The occupation continues moving beyond its fifth decade. It is a dark day indeed.

In 1873, Fanny Jane Crosby, a blind woman from New York City, wrote a hymn thanking God that she was blind and could “see” what the world could not see. Crosby lived in literal darkness, yet she also knew hope beyond what she could see. One of her most famous hymns, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!” is often sung on Good Friday to remind us that the current realities of the world – darkness, conflict, evil – are not the end of the story. Join in song and claim this blessed assurance this Good Friday.

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