Good news on Good Friday

Good news on Good Friday

To Christians Good Friday is a solemn holiday, when we remember and appreciate the sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus. But the sadness of Good Friday is soon replaced with the joy and affirmation of God’s holy plan of redemption on Resurrection Sunday, Easter.

There is no other period in Christendom that gives us, Christians and non-Christians, a sense of God’s love for us. As the world seems to be falling apart around us, we can be certain that it was God’s love for us that put in place the plan of redemption through Jesus, the Christ.

It’s at times like these that we should think about the enormity of what Jesus did for us, carrying the weight of our sins to Calvary. He lived his entire life knowing how it was going to end, as the sacrificial lamb, bloodied, brutalized, bruised and beaten, for our sins, for those yet unborn.

What love He must have had for us and God the Father to be obedient unto death, and to suffer when he did not have to!

To non-Christians – and Christians alike — you can get acquainted with God. He’s right here, right now. Google God. Google the Bible.

The Gospel of John records what Jesus had to say of his own sacrifice and what it means for us and to us. In John 15:12-13, Jesus says:

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

In verses 14-17, Jesus goes further in His admonition to His disciples:

You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.

We are His friends. He laid down His life willingly for us, for all of humanity. That’s why His burden is so enormous, beyond anything we could conceive of.

To non-Christians – and Christians alike — you can get acquainted with God. He’s right here, right now. Google God. Google the Bible. During these troubling times, you’ve got the time. Do it while meditating. Do it in a quiet space. Do it longer than 2 minutes!

Some of you are familiar with The Seven Last Words of Jesus. These are really the seven last utterances of our Lord while on the cross. I’ve become more acquainted with them by reading the Last Words of Jesus, by Stu Epperson, Jr. I’ve gone on to preach on three of those last utterances, after gaining insights from the book and elsewhere. Understanding the significance of Christ’s final hours demonstrates His love for us.

The first saying — “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” — is about forgiving those who persecuted and murdered Him. What manner of love does it take to forgive those who would take our very lives?

If searching for an answer, God’s got it. It it Jesus, the Christ.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

Because we are living in these days of the coronavirus, it’s nearly impossible to love our neighbor, whether close up or 6 feet away. And even if we could love our neighbor, would we chose to. Jesus chose to love us. We can choose to love others and show compassion, even to our enemies.

If searching for an answer, God’s got it. It it Jesus, the Christ.

We’re in place we never envisioned ourselves, our families, our country and our world. Death is stalking all of us and thousands whose names we’ll never know. If all we can do is pray for these our nameless friends, that’s a start at demonstrating the kind of love Jesus showed you and me.

So let Good Friday 2020 mean something, as it did more than 2,000 years ago.