Good Friday – the day that Jesus died on the cross – is, from a Christian perspective, one of the most important days in history. A sinless man bore the sins of the world; he suffered and died so that the guilty may be free. The journey that Jesus went through to crucifixion and its significance are profound.
As such, we set aside time in the days leading up to Good Friday to pause and reflect on the meaning of Good Friday. For four days, the sanctuary was set up for contemplative prayer, where members meditated on the characters around the cross:
- Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus with a kiss. (Matt 26:47-56)
- Caiaphas the High Priest, who despite his religiosity, wanted Jesus dead based on false accusations. (Matt 26:57-68)
- Peter, who had earlier pledged his allegiance to Christ, denied Christ three times before the break of dawn the next day. (Matt 26:69-75)
- Pontius Pilate, who succumbed to the pressures from the crowd and handed Jesus over for crucifixion. (Matt 27:11-26)
Each of these characters had to make a decision when they encountered the cross. In reflecting on the failings of these characters, we were provoked to ponder on how we may respond when faced with a similar decision to make. But more importantly, we were also led to a deeper appreciation of the significance of Good Friday, that in spite of our weaknesses, Jesus died so that we may live.
“Being new to the Christian faith, I attended the Holy Week of Contemplative Prayer with no real expectation. However, I came out of the session with renewed purpose in life, as well as having a greater sense of self-awareness. The prayer session was simple and direct, yet powerful and enjoyable. I have learnt to take a step back from my hectic lifestyle, to sit down and self-reflect on the greater meaning of life, and how I can assist those in need further to glorify our Heavenly Father.
“The Holy Week of Contemplative Prayer was especially meaningful for me this year, having missed last year’s sessions due to health reasons. I thank God for ministering to me and gracing me with his presence during contemplation. The fireplace and cross reminded me of His immense love for me.”
— Kay Choo
By Shu En