The Easter Triduum: Good Friday

  • 29.03.24
  • 3:00 PM
  • St George's Cathedral SE1 and parishes across Southwark
  • Takes place in person

Through the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, suffered judgement, physical punishment and condemnation on Good Friday.

Good Friday adoration of the Cross

Having been flogged and humiliated, Jesus was not exempt from any form of darkness before finally being condemned to carry his cross to Calvary in order to face death by crucifixion: a punishment normally handed out to criminals. He would be denied by the  Apostle Peter three times, given a crown of thorns and mocked by all around him. 

We reflect on the pain of Jesus’ rejection in Psalm 31:

‘In the face of all my foes,

I am a reproach,

an object of scorn to my neighbours

and of fear to my friends’.

God asked his Son to suffer many forms of evil in the process of overcoming death, but compassionately granted him the assistance of Simon of Cyrene, who carried his cross, and the loving actions of Veronica, his Mother and the beloved disciple, John.  Though many hid in fear, not all deserted Him, and the same Psalm shows that the ultimate answer to is to trust in God for hope and deliverance.

'Let your face shine on your servant.

Save me in your love

Be strong, let your heart take courage.,

all who hope in the Lord.'


Earthly demise and the Father's will

In today's Gospel, we hear Jesus, taunted by the authorities, explaining that his is a different path, a route which is not of human triumph:

'Mine is not a kingdom of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews, But my kingdom is not of this kind.'  - John 18.36

Later, when Jesus refuses to answer Pilate’s question as to where he has come from, Pilate points out that he has the power to crucify Jesus, who replies:

'You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above: that is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater guilt'.

Although we do not hear it in John's Gospel today, the other Evangelists record this memory:

'And the people stood by, watching, but the leaders scoffed at him saying 'He saved others, let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, the chosen one' - Luke 23.35

What appears to be Jesus’ earthly demise is in alignment with the Father's will, although the two paths would seem to be in contradiction to the ordinary human mind.

Christ was asked to drink the Cup put before him in order to bring about the New Covenant, and the 'Good' in Good Friday is derived from a time when this word meant 'Holy'. In earlier times the day would have been more commonly known as 'Holy Friday'.  

Through Jesus's sacrifice we see earthly downfall and despair, but also His defeat of the devil through the ultimate gift of his life, given in all its perfection to achieve salvation. In overcoming death, Jesus attains mercy for all, so that we may be directly with Him in His eternal home.  

May we be granted the gift of seeing life through our Creator’s eyes, and refrain from judging life through temporal perceptions and earthly triumph. His Kingdom is not necessarily a place of logic or achievement, but where God's love for his sons and daughters overcomes all manner of sin. In Jesus’ abundant mercy and desire to forgive, love reigns.

Discover Services in Southwark Parishes

Listen to Archbishop Wilson's Homily for Good Friday in 2023