Today is Good Friday, the date that most of the Christian calendar recognizes as the day Jesus was crucified and died. We don’t spend a whole lot of time as Christians talking and thinking about Good Friday, after all as the well-known saying goes “It’s Friday but Sunday’s Coming”. We tend to give today a modest passing thought and instead to fix our preparations on Sunday.
Today is the day Christ died for me.
Today is the day Christ died for you.
Not too many weeks ago we celebrated Christmas and the birth of Jesus. It seems that so much of our energy as Christians and as the modern church is wrapped up in the Advent season. Shamefully we tend to make Christmas our religious Super Bowl and treat Easter as some sort of second place religious holiday akin to a minor league play off final.
We have it all wrong. Easter is the reason for the season.
Easter is the entire reason for Christians to have cause to celebrate. This is the season that perfectly sums up our entire faith. Christ came to die for our sins and offer us eternal life. Without Easter we don’t have Christianity. In fact the early church didn’t celebrate Christmas, it was only later that December 25th as attached to that date, the early church celebrated Easter. It was our salvation that was the cause for remembrance and celebration. And celebrate we should! Jesus paid the debt be could not, he paid it instead of us.
You cannot read the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion of Christ and not be moved by the utter sacrifice made on our behalf. That night as Jesus prayed in the garden he looked out onto a world in need of redemption, in dire need of a change of direction, a world in need of a saviour. With the full knowledge of that fact He was beaten, mocked and then crucified He did it anyway. Crucifixion is the one of the most, if not the most, severe forms of execution known as it is a slow and painful death that can labor on for hours if not days before a person dies. Knowing all that He did it anyway.
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. – John 3:16-18 (The Message)
God so loved the world, the entire world. All of it, that he gave is only Son to die in our place.
He did it for me.
He did it for you.
Yes, Sunday is coming but lets not forget the full meaning and purpose of Friday first. Lets remember the reason for the season of Easter.