Three times Jesus asked “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me?”[1], while he was in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus knew what was to come. He knew that the weight of the world’s sin, the world’s rejection of God, was going to be placed upon him the very next day as he hung on a cross.

Jesus’ capacity to feel more pain and sorrow was colossal, he told his closest friends that “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”[2]. In these last hours of Jesus’ life, he was a man of sorrows.

If you are anything like me, the sorrow of Good Friday is often easy to overlook. Amid the Easter Eggs, bank holiday weekend and the hope that winter maybe finally over for another nine months, we really don’t feel much sorrow in the second largest national holiday after Christmas.

One song that I have found can be really helpful to overturn my oversight is ‘Man of Sorrows’ by Hillsong. The worship song allows me to think more deeply about the final hours of Jesus’ life as I pause to think about the magnitude of what he was about to do on the cross.

Man of sorrows Lamb of God
By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laid
Silent as He stood accused
Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will
He took a crown of thorns
Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee
Sent of heaven God’s own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree

The sorrow that Jesus felt was real and so should ours be on Good Friday.

But then, in the third verse come two very important words which I can’t wait to get to when singing this song.

Redeem and reconcile.

This is the crucial turning point, the best moment in the story as it draws a line under the sorrow and directs us to something which is worthy of a celebration.

Resurrection.

All the pain and sorrow happened so that mankind could be set free from the curse of sin! There was an unpayable debt that hung on us all and Jesus took this from us and paid it himself so that the barrier between us and God would be no more.

And so comes the second half of the song:

Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
Oh that rugged cross
My salvation
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee
See the stone is rolled away
Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah God be praised
He’s risen from the grave

I can’t help but smile as we sing these amazing words! God be praised!

And after Jesus had accomplished the greatest act of love in all history, he went even further and rose from the grave – double celebration!

Easter is an emotional time for Christians. We sense the sorrow that comes on Good Friday as Jesus hung on the cross but then comes the utter celebration of Easter Sunday.

Reading Matthew chapters 26 – 28 takes you through this journey. Make time to read it over this weekend to walk through these incredible events once more. Afterwards, perhaps reflect on both aspects of the story with ‘Man of Sorrows’.

Now my soul cries out
Hallelujah
Praise and honour unto Thee


[1] Matthew 26:44

[2] Matthew 26:38