Hurt, Help and Hope Remembering Hillsborough this Good Friday
a reflection from Revd. Bill Bygroves, Chaplain to Liverpool Football Club.
This Good Friday falls on the painful day of remembrance of the Hillsborough tragedy.
At every Hillsborough service, held at Anfield down the decades, the hymn ‘Abide with me’ has been sung. The last verse of this hymn reads.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ has brought comfort, strength and hope to millions of people down the millennia. It has also brought great consolation to the families of the 97 and to countless others deeply affected by the tragedy.
The cross speaks of HURT!
Our Lord is ‘the man of sorrows acquainted with grief.’ On the cross He bore the trauma of injustice and of infinite physical, mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual anguish as He bore our sins in His body at Calvary. He understands our pain and hurt.
The cross speaks of HELP!
The gospels tell us that when Christ offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin, the veil of the temple was torn in two. We now have direct access to our Heavenly Father. Jesus is our sympathetic Great High Priest, full of mercy and grace to help in time of need. We have a friend in Jesus all our sins and griefs to bear.
The cross speaks of HOPE!
Jesus said to the penitent thief on the cross who trusted Him. ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise’ This life is not all there is, heaven is real! Heaven is the hope of every believer. The acronym for hope is He Offers Peace Eternal.
Come ye disconsolate where’er you languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here, bring your wounded heart, tell all your anguish.
Earth has no sorrow, that heaven cannot heal.
Revd. Bill Bygroves – Chaplain to Liverpool Football Club