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Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.  Matthew 27:50

Earlier today, I was finalizing plans for our Good Friday service at church. Needless to say, this caused me to spend a lot of time pondering what Jesus endured on that fateful day. I marvel at the contrast between the cries of “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday…and the cries of “Crucify him” the following Friday.

“What a fickle crowd”, I think to myself. But then I am forced to ask, “Could I be just as fickle toward the Lord?”

The painful answer is, “of course”. There are many times when I demand things from Him. Many times when I turn my back on Him.

Many times when my actions proclaim an attitude of, “What have you done for me lately, Jesus?” But the fact is that my Lord owes me nothing.

Nothing.

After He endured the betrayal of His closest friends, two sham trials, whipping, shame and ridicule, and then crucifixion on Good Friday…hasn’t Jesus done enough?

Of course He has. Because Jesus willingly chose to experience all of those horrible things. He did all of that for me, in an amazing display of sacrificial love. The greatest gift of love ever performed in human history. And He did it so that the barrier of sin that kept me apart from God could be eliminated. So that I could actually draw close to the Living God; the Creator of heaven and earth.

Incredible.

And yet…when Jesus does not give me all I want; when I do not have all that I think I need…it is so easy to whine and complain. To want more, expect more, demand more. So Good Friday humbles me. Good Friday helps me keep my life in proper perspective.

Good Friday reminds me that the God loves me and paid a huge price to grant me the privilege of knowing Him.

Good Friday also reminds me that this life is not all there is; that even though I become obsessed with my life “here and now”, the Lord is more concerned about my life “there and then”.

Because Good Friday is not the end of the story. Easter Sunday is coming!

- Bruce

ps. Thanks to my friend Kris Carter for the powerful graphic, which we used in our service tonight.