Friday, March 25, 2016

One Good Friday

The world calls it Good Friday, and from the perspective of us who are being saved, the events of that Friday are good.  From the perspective of the sinless one being executed, the humiliation and the suffering  could be called anything but good. 

In our reading of the gospel narratives, we know the good news of his resurrection and the hope it brings to every Christian.  We are followers of this one who is dying the death we should be dying. We are the sinful, yet He is paying the price. 
The events of that Friday include his arrest. One of his closest followers denied even knowing him.  Another follower, the one which had been paid to betray Jesus, hanged himself. There was a trial before the Sanhedrin,  and another appearance before the governor, Pilate.  Then came the mockery from the soldiers, and he was led away to be crucified. 

When Matthew was writing his narrative of this account, he gives a picture of Peter, immediately before his denial of Jesus, and the picture we can see even today is this:  

 "But Peter was following him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest.  He entered and sat down with the guard to watch the end."  Matthew 26:58

Peter was going to eventually become the great Apostle that was instrumental in sharing the message of the risen Lord and the beginning of the church.  Matthew describes him along with the other spectators  that Friday, who were observing Jesus' pain and suffering, the mocking and spitting, the crown of thorns, the struggle of carrying the cross, and ultimately the nails being driven through his hands and feet. It was as if there was an assembled crowd whose main objective was to observe the bitter end of this one called Jesus. 

The Good Friday part comes when we believe and live for the Lord who was and is eternal.  The end they saw was the end of his earthly life.  Some were satisfied they would never see or hear of him again, but the truth is, the death of Jesus on the cross was planned before the world began.  This is the sacrifice of God's Son to pay the price for the sins of the world. 

If that Friday was a good Friday, then Sunday was "Hallelujah  Sunday."  He rose from the grave and lives again. The victory has been won over Satan and the grave, and through the love and grace of God, Jesus' victory is our victory, too.  Praise God every day, that you follow and serve a Risen Lord. 


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