Seeing Good Friday

Tonight's service at church ministered to me in a new way. It was a Good Friday service, of course, and pastor sounded a note I have probably heard before, but this time it was fresh. I won't be able to quote him verbatim, but I'll try to get the essence.

As Christians living when we do, we necessarily view Good Friday through Easter. We know what Good Friday means. This is an advantage the disciples did not have on crucifixion day. For them, all was dark and torn and stormy and dead and final. We can, thankfully, view Good Friday in hope and with all its meaning because we know about Easter and resurrection and epistles that explain it. Some of these letters are even written by ones who were convinced all was lost when the Romans killed their rabbi.

Here's what I took away: Don't approach Good Friday filled will somber dread. Easter people don't need to beat their breast and mourn. Of course I should be sorry for my sin, understanding that sin offends God, that God could rightly cast me into hell for my rebel heart and my rebellious crimes against Him - but I can't stay in sorrow for long because it is not the end of the story and I know the end of the story. I know about Easter. I know the Gospel.

As brutal and savage and depraved and unjust as Jesus' death was, it is life for me. The Gospel says that the Father made Him who knew no sin, Jesus, to be sin on my behalf. It's inexplicable, I know, but it is true nonetheless. And then, this spotless Lamb who was slain for my sins, rose from the grave showing that, not only is sin powerless, but so is the grave. O, death! Where is thy sting?

No, we do not mourn as the unbelievers and I will not linger over the brutality. But I will glory in the Cross and in ALL that it means, not just the Friday part.

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