What Ever Happened to Good Friday?
This Sunday is a very special day. In fact, it is a holiday that will be celebrated around the world. For Christians, it is actually the pinnacle day of our faith! It is Resurrection Sunday-the day we celebrate Jesus Christ rising from the dead!!! In other words, it is party time! As the Apostle Paul proclaims, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NIV). The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a major theme in the New Testament and if it is false the faith of Christians is futile (as Paul reminds us in this same chapter). It should be celebrated and remembered.
However, if Good Friday had not happened, there never would have been a Resurrection Sunday! Famous preacher, Tony Campolo preached a sermon with the title, “It’s Friday but Sunday is Coming!” Yes, it is but it is also true that because of what Jesus did for the entire human race on Friday makes Sunday all that more significant!
This week, I called four different Christian book stores looking for Good Friday Service bulletin covers. However, none of them had any for Good Friday! Each of them had Easter bulletin covers but for some reason they did not have any for Good Friday. May we as Christians and churches be faithful to remember and appreciate Good Friday because of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus gave for all of us! In fact, there are definitely more details given in the Gospels regarding His sacrifice than His Resurrection.
Of course, we should never separate these two vital elements of the Gospel or Good News. They must go together but I do advocate that we take time to appreciate them separately as we remember the suffering, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
May our hearts and mouths echo the words of the Apostle Peter as he remembered His good friend and Lord: When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:23-24 NIV)
May this weekend be very special as you remember and celebrate Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday-the best two days for all Christians!
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