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good friday…

March 21, 2008

today is good friday. for those of you who think every friday is good, i’ll explain. Good Friday, also called Holy Friday or Great Friday, is the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. It commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus at Calvary. hmm. let me see if i can do better than that…

Jesus, whom i believe to be the flawless Son of God, was betrayed by one of his best friends, this dude judas. the temple guard in jerusalem of the day came to a garden where Jesus and His buddies were praying (well, Jesus was praying… His boys kept falling asleep) and arrested Him. He was arrested for claiming to be the King of the Jews. that, and these folks really didn’t like Him. that began a crazy long night. they took Him to this dude Annas’s house, who was the father-in-law to the current high priest caiaphus. He was interrogated there with little result and then sent to caiaphus himself where the sanhedrin was assembled. the sanhedrin is an assembly of 23 judges mandated by jewish law to be created in every city. legalist jerks, if you ask me. you probably wouldn’t like them at all. anyway, lots of people give conflicting and false testimonies about Jesus, but Jesus said nothing. He didn’t respond at all to any of these horrendous accusations. so then caiaphus commands that Jesus answer whether He is the Son of God. all Jesus says is “you said it. and in time you’ll know it’s true.” this really pisses the high priest off, so he condemns Jesus for blasphemy and the sanhedron call for the death penalty. in the morning, the whole assembly brings Jesus to the roman governor pontius pilate, under charges of subverting the nation, opposing taxes to caesar, and making Himself a king. there’s a lot of yelling and arguing back and forth. eventually pilate washes his hands of the situation, saying that Jesus’ blood was their responsibility, not his. and so they took him to be crucified.

  crucifixion is an ancient method of execution, where the condemned is tied or nailed to a large wooden cross and left to hang until dead. this junk was bad. they beat Jesus literally within an inch of His life, ripping the skin from His body with pieces of metal and beating Him with clubs. it’s any wonder He didn’t die from the beating alone. they insulted Him, spat on Him, cursed Him, threw things at Him, and made fun of Him. and Jesus bore it all, even though He hadn’t done anything. and He never once begged for mercy or for justice… though He deserved both. then they nailed Him to the large wooden cross and let Him hang there in agony until He finally died. there was a big storm at the same moment of His death, and it was obvious that they had just killed the Son of God. that Jesus was who He said He was. 

all of that is what Good Friday is. doesn’t sound like anything to celebrate does it? sounds like something i’d like to forget. the point of this story isn’t that injustice was done to an innocent man, though that is true. the point is WHY. why did He let that happen? why didn’t He say anything, defend Himself? if He was the all powerful Son of God, why didn’t He stop the whole thing? answer: He chose not to. we are God’s creation gone astray. God’s children who demanded independence. and God knows that our debts would have to be paid somehow, someday. He loves us so much and wants to be with us so much, that  He made a way for Someone Else to pay those debts for us. His only Son, Jesus. by dying, Jesus knew that the rest of us could live. i can’t explain it all, but i darn well am not going to refuse it because i don’t understand it! Jesus died for me. because of me. instead of me. that’s what today is about. it’s about remembering that. and not taking it for granted.

if you know the rest of the story, then you have incredible hope! if you don’t know it, stay tuned with hope. there’s much more to come! but for the next few days, i’m going to truly try to wrap my mind around God’s love, the fact that Jesus ACTUALLY bled and died, was beaten up worse than i can imagine. i would challenge you to find a Bible and do the same. the accounts of Jesus death can be found in the gospels; Matthew 26&27, Mark 14&15, Luke 22&23, John 18&19. so don’t just  take my word for it. 

*question to ponder: if this was where the story ended, how would that change my life as a Christian? would it render it all in vain? i want to say i would still love Him as much as i do today. but what would that be like? i’m glad it’s not the end of the story, but would i still trust the sovereignty of God, if it was? 

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2 comments

  1. great friday.


  2. I know this is a month late but I just wanted to say thanks for supporting us in Uganda. It was great to know we had friends out there praying and there for us. I just wanted to say thanks. H



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