I have been wracking my brain all day, trying to decide what to say. I have decide not to say anything. As we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, I ask you to consider what the disciples felt as they had to live through the Saturday after the crucifixion of Jesus. What would you have felt?
This is a day of mourning. Of apprehension. We should never take for granted the resurrection. The disciples did not know for sure if it would take place. We have the benefit of history and scholarship to buttress our faith. Let us not be cavalier about Jesus death.
God bless you on this Holy Saturday.
I have often wondered if the first disciples of Jesus felt it was appropriate to call the Friday Jesus died “good.” It is difficult to fathom how anything that took place that Friday afternoon could have been considered good. Trumped charges led to a bogus trial led which to the execution of an innocent man. The circumstances of that day are anything but good.
This evening, during our services, we had a time of confession and repentance. It was a time where we could reflect and submit to God those sins holding us back from fully surrendering to God. It was a powerful moment. At the end of the service I could see the slips of paper that had been laid upon the cross of Jesus. As I stood there looking at them, the following thought passed through my mind.
If these represent one confessed sin (among the many possibilities) of one fellowship of believers, how must have the cross looked to God when the sins of the world, for all time, were laid upon Jesus?
I was stunned by the reality of how our sinfulness had affected the purest life to have ever walked upon the earth. The unstained, undefiled, unadulterated beauty and perfection of Jesus was ravaged by our sin. He hung on a cross, suffering because if I had to do it I would go to hell. It was the innocence of Jesus that revealed the diabolical nature of our sin. We will never fully understand what the cross of Calvary means. We can experience its benefits. We can know we have been changed, redeemed, and set upon a new path. We just do not have the capacity to process all God did for us in Christ.
Today is Good Friday, not because it was good for Jesus, but because it was good for us!
Remember the sorrow this day represents, but look forward for Sunday is yet to come. The following video is such a wonderful reminder of this simple reality.
(If you can’t see the video click HERE)
Today is Maundy Thursday. It is the Thursday before Easter. The word “maundy” is an old word with two meanings (both of which are not in use anymore). The first meaning is “commandment,” and the second, not as closely related to the reason it is used during Holy Week, is “to beg.” Both of these are interesting when we consider them in the context of Easter and Jesus crucifixion and resurrection.
The Last Supper occurred on Thursday night. It was during the evening meal that Jesus gave to the disciples one of his final instructions. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34, ESV). This commandment was given as Jesus was modeling for the disciples the kinds of acts of service they were to perform for one another. Jesus had undressed and wrapped himself with a towel. He then proceeded to wash the disciples’ feet. This simple act has profound implications for us today. What is our attitude when asked to serve? Are we more interested in being served? How difficult is it for us to humble ourselves and do what we do not think we should have to do?
The reality and power of Jesus’ service to us is compounded by the fact that he offered his service before we asked for his help. While we will beg for God’s forgiveness, God has already extended his grace and forgiveness. We come on our knees and God meets us with the ring, shoes, robe and feast of son-ship (Luke 15:11-32). There is no greater demonstration of God’s love toward us than Jesus washing of the disciples’ feet. The one in whom all things “have there being” stooped to wash the dirty feet of twelve dubious disciples.
Here are few resources to get you thinking about Good Friday, Jesus and what all this means for you!
1. Raised for Us and Our Salvation: Too often in our churches the resurrection of Christ is a doctrine of secondary importance. It is neglected and forgotten until Easter comes around each year. The same disregard for the resurrection is seen in how we share the gospel. Christians can tend to share the gospel as if Jesus died on the cross and that is the end of the story. We make a zip line from the crucifixion to “repent and believe,” contrary to the example Peter sets for us in Acts 2:22-24 and 4:26. As central as the cross is to our salvation (and it is absolutely central!), what was accomplished at the cross is truly incomplete if the tomb is not found empty on Sunday morning.
2. Why Good Friday is Good: It was on this day that sinful humanity killed the perfect Son of God, and did it in the most deplorable and humiliating public fashion available at the time. So wretched and seemingly hopeless was humanity’s condition that when faced with One who was one of us, but so not like us; when faced with the One who could and would redeem us and lead us to God, we lashed out with murderous intent and nailed him to a Roman cross. No, by any measure available, this did not seem to be humanity’s finest hour. But it was God’s greatest hour.
3. The Father’s Cup (Good Friday): This is a wonderful and powerful retelling of the events Good Friday.
4. The Day Jesus Died: The day that Jesus died—the day we remember as Good Friday—goes down in the history of the world as a day of great suffering, when Jesus Christ endured the weight of sin and shame on our behalf. As we remember what it cost him to reconcile us to himself on this day, it is worth walking through what Jesus endured that day.
5. The Good (the Bad and the Ugly) Friday: “Why do we call it Good Friday if it’s the day when Jesus was murdered?” If you haven’t fielded that question from a child or a newcomer to the Christian faith, you’ve probably wondered yourself. The common answer is “It’s good for us, because the cross is how Jesus saved us.”
6. What Happened on Friday of Holy Week?: The witness of the four gospels are harmonized so that can read for yourself what was taking place during the Friday of the first holy week. It is well worth the time to read it.