Time to be humble and thankful for the life one Man give so we could have ours!

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My Winning Words©

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  
John 3:16
It seems contrary to human reason and logic to call this day in the Church calendar “Good Friday.”  After all, today is the day when congregations around the world remember Jesus’ crucifixion and death.  Images recount the day: scorn, thorns, hatred, grief, sorrow, injury, tears, darkness, and death.  How can we use a word like “good” in the same breath with this day?  What good, we ask, can come from Jesus’ death on the cross on a day long ago on a hill called Golgotha—“the place of the skull?”

This day is called Good Friday because it honestly expresses the heart of God in relationship to all humanity.  “For God so loved the world, that he sent his only Son…”  Jesus Christ—the Son of God, the flesh and blood example of God’s will to love men and women and children and the world—laid down his life to bring us back into a right relationship with God.  This willingness to go all the way, this one-sided, unconditional, unsolicited love defines the nature of God’s covenant with his chosen people and all his creation.  In the words of the Apostle Paul, “God demonstrates his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Good Friday is not about us.  This day is not about doing good deeds, or worshiping God to repair the relationship which sin has torn asunder.  Good Friday is about our relationship with God.  From Adam and Eve to you and me, all humans were created to walk and talk and live every step of our lives with the ever-present Lord.  We are intended to be as close with our Creator as we are with our own breath!  But when sin entered the world, we became estranged from God.  Our First Parents ate the forbidden fruit, and ever since, humanity has been robbed of a healthy relationship with God.

This day, Good Friday, is the lens through which we can see just how much God loves us—not because we deserve his love, but because we need it.  What we deserve is death, since “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  Through his sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus has paid our wages and so set us free to be children of God.  The relationship is now restored.  In the words of Paul, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself…that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them….” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).

Because of what Jesus did for us on that first Good Friday, we are forgiven sinners. We are men and women who can face the darkest Fridays of our lives with hope, because we have been reconciled to God.  Because Jesus was willing to become our perfect sacrifice, God is with us all the way, all the time.  He is faithful to his promise to never leave us or forsake us until the end of time—not even when we are in deepest valleys.  Because God is God, he is powerful enough to fulfill his promise, for nothing is too hard for our Lord.  Neither sin nor death can stand in his way to do for us what he says he will do.  Because of Good Friday, there is now no condemnation for those who believe in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

On this Good Friday, it is my prayer that all who call Jesus Savior and Lord will spend time meditating on what God, in Christ, did for us on that Friday in history we now refer to as “Good.”
The cross was two pieces of dead wood;
and a helpless, unresisting Man was nailed to it;
yet it was mightier than the world,
and triumphed, and will ever triumph over it.”

~~Augustus William Hare

 

A Question to Ponder: On this Good Friday, spend time pondering what God, in Christ, did for you on that Friday in history we now refer to as “Good.”

A Prayer to Offer: Loving Lord, today your people mourn as we see Jesus, your Son, our savior, giving his life for the salvation of fallen humankind.  Were it not for his perfect sacrifice, offered to bring us into a right relationship with you, we would be lost; we would be sinners without hope and without God.  How thankful I am for Jesus, and all that he has done for me!  Because he was willing to drink the bitter cup of wrath, I can drink from the cup of blessing.  Because he was willing to die, I can live forever.  On this “Good Friday,” help me to understand in new ways just what Jesus’ death and resurrection mean to me—and to all who profess Jesus as savior and Lord.  I also pray for those, dear Lord, who have yet to come into a right relationship with you; those who are still walking in the darkness; wondering far from home and trying to fill the place in their lives that you were meant to occupy with other people, places and things.  Forgive me for taking this precious salvation, gained by such a high price, for granted.  By the power of your Holy Spirit, empower me to live for the One who died for me.  Amen.

An Action Step to Take:   On this Good Friday, spend extra time in prayer, giving thanks and praise to God for sending his Son to save you from a life of sin and death.

 

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