Today is Good Friday and I always wondered why we refer to this day as “Good” since it was the day Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross. While historians debate many things about our faith, there are three things all historians agree on: 1) Jesus Christ really existed; 2) Jesus Christ was baptized; and 3) Jesus Christ was crucified. Christ’s crucifixion was an agonizing and torturous death. Matthew 27:50 says, And when Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. This was a brutal death and His suffering is hard to imagine. But when we take time to think through what Christ’s crucifixion represents and the transformation it has caused to the course of each of our lives, we realize it really was a “Good” day. Today reminds us that Jesus took on the sin of the world and died because of it. And more importantly, it is “Good” because Sunday is coming.
We do not need to do anything to receive salvation. Christ did it all through His crucifixion on the cross. So what is James trying to say in James 2:26? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. He is not talking about salvation. He is talking about a changed and obedient life. Christ saves us from our imperfect lives and gives us the freedom to not be enslaved by our sin nature. If we do not take advantage of that freedom to act for the benefit of others, then what was the point of salvation? Freedom gives us the ability to choose a life fulfilled and happy through Christ. If we don’t take advantage of it, we are wasting the gift of salvation.
Today is Good Friday, and one of the most painful days in the history of our faith. It all came down to this in Matthew 27:50 And when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. But just remember… Sunday is coming!
Today’s reading is all about the crucifixion of Christ. There is so much in this chapter that it’s hard to focus on one thing. But what stood out to me was Matthew 27:38, Two robbers were crucified with Him, one on His right and one on His left. I am not sure if there is any symbolism to this, but to me it paints the picture of us with Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, he did it for our salvation. It should have been us dying that horrible death, but He did it for us because He loved us. We are nothing more than common criminals and yet Jesus found us worth of being saved. We must never take that for granted.
The most amazing days of our faith are upon us. We are about to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. But first we have to experience a day of sadness; the day our King was beaten, tortured, and killed because of our sin. I guess by now you all have figured out that I love the Skit Guys, and this Good Friday video is one of the best. I hope you enjoy it.
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We tend to worry a lot about authority and who is in control (especially during election season). In verse 11 it says, Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” All authority is given by God. We don’t need to worry because without God’s authority our leaders would not be in power. Ultimately, we need to remember that God has a perfect plan. When things seem to be going poorly for us, we simply need to remember He is in control. Even on the day they killed Jesus, God’s plan remained intact and the Savior of the world saved us all. Trust in God and obey Him because He is in control.
There was an interesting note in my Bible about Barrabas. It says it was ironic that he was accused of the same thing they were accusing Jesus, mounting up an insurrection, and yet he went free while Jesus paid the price for his crime. It was also interesting that Barrabas is simply referred by his first name and is never referred by his given name (as in Simon Peter, son of Jonah). He could have been anyone’s son – and that’s just the point. Barrabas’ freedom is a perfect example of the freedom we experience through salvation from Christ’s death and it is available to us all.
Jesus was the perfect man! Even the way He died showed His perfection. In verse 39 it says, And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” I’m sure the centurion had seen many people crucified and witnessed how evil men died. Jesus was not like those men. He was perfect and He was on the cross for a purpose and it showed by the way accepted His death.
I think one of the most amazing passages in the whole Bible is in the second part of verse 39, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” It is amazing to me that even though Jesus realizes the amount of suffering he will have to endure for us, He still chooses to follow God’s plan. I’m not sure I could knowingly go into the kind of suffering Jesus had to endure. It makes it that much more incredible and precious to me that He has so much love for us.