Commentary to readings
We find Son of God and the cross of His redemption (Vespers)
His divine righteousness (Third Hour)
The revelation of His cross (Sixth Hour)
How the cross became the source of life and a reason for judgment (Ninth Hour)
A light shined and everlasting joy (Eleventh Hour)
Resurrection from death through His death (Twelfth Hour)
Commentary to readings for Good Friday Vespers
Readings here about the great redeemer who through His cross, passed with us to new life and His intercession manifested with the Father for us (Book of Leviticus)
That for prevalence of corruption in whole human nature without exception (Isaiah, chapter 1)
He abolished the idols through His cross glory (Isaiah, chapter 2)
His divine righteousness light shines (Jeremiah 22, 23)
He was a source of healing and forgiveness because of His love (Jeremiah)
The curse became to those who casted off (Isaiah 24)
Because they have rejected the Son of God (Wisdom of Solomon)
Even their priests and high priests (Job)
Who have neglected Him (Zechariah)
Their life is laid waste (Micha)
Let us hold fast His salvation to escape vengeance (Micha 7)
Commentary to readings for Third Hour
Readings for such hour about the civil trials before Romans and beginning of the road of the cross, here Pilate said that he found in God no fault at all as such what sent to him by his wife. The subject of this Hour readings is about the righteous who suffered for us or the crucified Jesus for justification through the righteousness of His cross.
Readings started with Jacob’s choosing to bless wittingly the younger son, Ephraim, to give him birthright to get the righteousness of election (Genesis), the Father righteousness manifested in the passion of the Son of God (Isaiah 50), the princes shall be judged for oppressing the righteous (Isaiah 3), the Father righteousness shall be revealed by the Son through salvation (Isaiah 63), His refinement for us (Amos), and how the people casted away the lamb without blemish and His righteousness (Job).
Gospels explained the last trail before Pilate in which he sentenced a capital punishment for God and delivered Him to be crucified after offering them which prisoners to be releases, and then they chose Barabbas.
St. Mathew mentions the dream of Pilate’s wife and that she sent unto him to beware of sentence Him, while St. Mark explained the cross sufferings and added that they compel one to bear His cross whose name was Simon a Cyrenian mentioning their sons’ names. St. Luke clarifies that Pilate asked the multitudes three times about what He has done to be crucified as St. Luke and St. Mark mentioned that Barabbas was cast into prison for sedition and murder, which is rougher than the charge fabricated to God so their evil and envy manifested. St. John reveals the sacrificed personality as Pilate groaned when he founded them saying that He made himself the Son of God.
Sixth Hour of Good Friday
Readings here are about events of the crucifixion (Gospels)
The cross signs and symbols in the Old Testament (Prophecies & Psalms)
Readings about His salvation by healing us from serpent and rescuing us from death (Book of Numbers)
God absolute dumb in His passions and crucifixion road (Isaiah 53)
His exaltation in the midst and joy of salvation (Isaiah 12: 2- etc., 13: 1- 10)
The signs of nature and vanity of the Jewish festivals (Amos)
The sufferings of the cross (Psalms)
His raising upon the Cross (Gospels)
Our pride of the cross (Pauline epistles)
Readings for Ninth Hour
Readings for such hour about completion of the journey of pains and death of the cross to declare the end of the curse, starting life, and revelation of the judgment towards those who refusing salvation.
So readings reveal the reason of judgment to the salvation resistant (Jeremiah)
End of the curse through the cross (Zechariah)
The events thereof shall be dreadful (Joel)
Humanity glory in the crucified Christ (Pauline epistles)
The one who gave us life through resurrection (Psalms)
After finishing all needed to His crucifixion upon the cross (Gospels)
Eleventh Hour of Good Friday
Readings for such hour about the beginning of the feast and the eternal glory to humanity (Prophecies)
The crucified glory in the church life (Pauline epistles)
All eyes to be opened to see the Son of God and Hid divinity revelation (Gospels)
By completing His redemption through resurrection (Psalm)
Readings for Twelfth Hour
Readings for that great day ended by the hour in which the souls of righteous redeemed from the hell by entering of the Son of god as He brought hades to captivity, their souls rejoiced at His coming so the altar curtain is opened and the altar is prepared with white cloth suitable for joy.
Readings are about two prophets (Jeremiah & Jonah) who were not only symbol for Son of God’s passion and crucifixion, but also for His resurrection and Passover from death. There are two psalms, one of them expressing the death sufferings and the other about glory and Excellency of the afflicted. While Gospels reveal the souls’ type that live the constant pass from death to life (Joseph & Nicodemus) who were waiting and hope in God kingdom as they weren’t yet know Him but they realized God in His death and resurrection.
Meaning of the Cross
The Cross mystery is revelation of his love to humanity (John 3: 16)
+ In Cross, we realized how God so loved us as he gave his only begotten Son (John 3: 16), how he has loved us an everlasting love and loving-kindness He has drawn us. (Jeremiah31: 3), how He loved us unto the end (John 13: 1), the glory which the Father gave Him, He has given us (John 17: 22, 26), and whatsoever we shall ask in His name, that will He do (John 14: 13).
+ In Cross, we realized that we became sons (1 John 3: 1), friends (John 15: 15), elected (1 Peter 1: 1), kings (Revelation 1: 6), ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5: 20), the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5: 13, 14), a sweet savour (2 Corinthians 2: 15), nigh (Ephesians 2: 13), of the household of God (Ephesians 2: 19), a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people (1 Peter 2: 9), the servants of righteousness (Romans 6: 18).
+ After the Cross, God’s love revealed in His willing (John 17: 24), acts (Revelation 3: 20), and chastening (Hebrews 12: 6, Revelation 3: 19), also in His church (Ephesians 5: 25), His pastors (1 Thessalonians 2: 8), and His ministers (3 John 1: 5, 12).
+ In cross, we can bless who revile us (1 Corinthians 4: 12), love our enemies (Luke 6: 27), bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10: 5), nothing shall separate us from His love (Romans 8: 35), hopping salvation for all even who judging us (Acts 26: 29).
+ That is the cross (or God love that manifested therein) became the interpretation source and change lab.
“The interpretation source” means we haven’t known except love in God’s love as we realized that His nature is love (1 John 4: 8, 16), He is love وعَلَمُه الحب (Song of Songs 2: 4), and dealings with man reflecting His goodness (Matthew 5: 45).
“The change lab” means that everything in life can be changed and revealed through love (God made all things work together for good to them that love God- in Roman 8: 28 according to the Coptic translation) as many can acquire salvation due to the love prevailing ministry and care (No one can acquire salvation because of you except the one who loves you) as said by Saint Augustine. We haven’t considered resistant as a wicked one as much as a victim of absence of love so Saint Paul said (If your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head- Romans 12: 20). Some comment that coals of fire is the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 3). When love dealings and acts provided, his/ her mind (thoughts) may be controlled by the Holy Spirit that makes change and lets evil disappeared. (The source: Book of “Love, Justice, and Violence”- Costi Bendaly)
From Readings inspiration for that day
The Lord also is pleased to purge him from his stroke.
(The second prophecy of the eleventh hour of Great Thursday)
( النبوَّة الثانية لقراءات الساعة السادسة يوم الجمعة العظيمة )
+ That verse translated by Van Dyck Version (Beirutian translation) – unfortunately- thus “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief”
+ There is a great difference between the Father’s pleasure in bruising and being His will and pleasure in healing!!
+ The verse reflecting meaning and essence of divine dispensation according to the Coptic translation.
+ The pleasure of God we worshiping isn’t in our sadness but in healing.
+ So we see His the physician, not a drubber nor torture (Matthew 9: 12)
+ We consider sufferings as a path of healing (1 Peter 4: 1) not a subject of punishment.
+ If our will combined with His will, we shall focus in the way of healing asking Him to heal us.
+ Rather than being confined in the reasons of suffering without taking advantage of the intention thereof.
+ If we well informed of His will, our temptations shall be the source of joy (James 1: 2)
+ And we shall look up into the eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4: 17)