Saturday, April 19, 2014

Good Friday

Today, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, is the day of silence and waiting.  Yesterday, Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried.  His disciples and family are shocked and devastated.  It happened so quickly.  Last Sunday, Jesus was a rock star!  He rode into Jerusalem and the crowds worshiped Him.  But the next day, Jesus cleared the Temple and, in the eyes of the religious leaders, sealed His fate.  The religious leaders had to get rid of Him and Judas Iscariot offered to help them.  Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples on Thursday night then went to Gethsemane to pray.  Late in the night, Judas came to Him, leading a mob armed with swords.  He was dragged before Herod and Pilate (in the middle of the night), tried, and condemned to death.  The next morning, He was crucified.  In just a few hours, the "Jesus movement" was dead.  The disciples had no leader and they certainly weren't going to do anything by themselves, especially not since Jesus was murdered.  But we who live 2,000 years later know the whole story.  Jesus didn't stay in the grave.  He rose to life on Easter morning, conquering Satan, sin and death.     

Every year, our church has a Good Friday service.  It's a very solemn, somber ocasion.  We read through the accounts of the Last Supper, the arrest, and the crucificion.  We take communion.  We pray and there are many tears.  Easter weekend is not just about Jesus rising from the dead.  It's also about Jesus being murdered.  We murdered God.  That should hit us hard.  There should be sadness and grief, repentance and rememberance.  We don't stay in that place of course.  Easter Sunday dawns and we celebrate.  Jesus rose and our hearts are filled with joy.  But there can only be true joy when we understand and feel what we did to the perfect God-Man on Friday morning. 

Man Of Sorrows
“Man of Sorrows!” what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

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