By Thine hour of dire despair,
By Thine agony of prayer,
By the cross, the nail, the thorn,
Piercing spear, and torturing scorn,
By the gloom that veiled the skies
O’er the dreadful sacrifice,
Listen to our humble sigh;
Hear our penitential cry!
LSB 419 st. 3
“It was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.”
Good Friday is still a long way off. Our focus has shifted from the joy of the arrival of our Savior to the darkness of our sins and expressing our grief and repentance in light of them. In our observance of the season of Lent, we can find ourselves trudging through the gloom looking often only towards the joy of Easter morning. However, on this first Friday of Lent we are a reminded that on our journey through this season, our eyes should be fixed on Good Friday; our eyes should be fixed on the cross.
It is not our own moanings and prayers and agonies that bring us forgiveness. Our salvation is found in Jesus Christ on that cross, giving up his very life in pain, despair, and innocence. Only when we see what He has done are we able to penitentially cry out to him, seeing that we are utterly unworthy and humble before Him. This is Lent: Jesus Christ, God with us, no longer veiled behind the curtain of the temple but before our very eyes, on the cross, dying for the sins of the world so that we may have eternal life with Him.
Let us Pray: O Christ, by your innocent suffering and death you have won for us the forgiveness of all our sins. Turn our eyes always to the cross so that through this time of Lent we would remember where our cries for mercy find relief, and our hope is found. In Your holy name we pray. Amen.
(Emilia Mugnolo, Deaconess Student)