Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Good Friday! Thank You, Jesus!

Well, today marked another first in my life; my first Good Friday without my Gordon. By God's grace, I will survive this day and indeed, the rest of this whole weekend.

At 11:00am, I attended a Good Friday worship service at my church. While some were away, most church family I knew were there. It's good to feel part of a family.

Just before Holy Communion, while singing one of my many favourites, "The Power of the Cross", our deacons met at the rear of the sanctuary, beside where I usually worship. I had my right hand placed on the pew ahead of me. One of the deacons saw I was wearing Gordon's wedding ring. He first touched Gordon's ring, then placed his hand over mine, and patted my hand. It was all I could do to not cry, for it was so touching to me that someone/anyone would notice my love/grief for Gordon, recognize it and offer me a tender touch of Christian love. Thank you, Lord! May he be blessed!

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are two of the most important Christian days in the life of a Christian believer.

People who don't know what the Bible says or haven't read it, learned about it or done Bible study, sometimes think that Jesus was murdered by the Jews on Good Friday. This is not the case. Jesus freely laid down His life, for you and for me. This is a topic of discussion for another time.

Jesus fulfilled the prophecy as written in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. For more information, read entries from the last few days.

If you would like to read about Jesus' crucifixion and burial, read John 19 in the New Testament. Jesus' death was not a kind, relaxed one. No. He suffered excruciating pain. Crucifixion is one of the worst deaths imaginable; google it and read about it, for yourself.

Jesus was scourged. Soldiers twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head and dressed Him in a purple robe. Mocking Him, they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" as they struck Him with their hands.

Pilate then washed his hands of Jesus, saying that he found no fault in him. When Jesus stepped to where priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him". Pilate said they should do it, for he found no fault in Him.

The Jews answered Pilate, saying that they had a law and according to their law, He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God. Pilate became more afraid; he went to speak with Jesus. Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."

From then on, Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out more against Jesus. Jesus was delivered to them and they led Him away. And He, bearing His cross went to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the centre.

Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many read this, for it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. The chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'the King of the Jews', but, 'He said, "I am the King of the Jews.".' " Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

When they had crucified Jesus, the soldiers took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the op in one piece. They said among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says, "They divided My garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots."

Jesus' Mother Mary was there, along with some of His followers. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His Mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your Mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst." Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth, So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

But, one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

Many saw this take place and told about it, so we might believe. For these things were done so that Scripture should be fulfilled, "Not one of His bones shall be broken." And again another, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.

Nicodemus brought about a hundred pounds of a mixture of myrrh and aloes. They took the body of Jesus, bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.

Now, in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

I thank God for His redeeming love, for sending His only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus did it all. All to Him, I owe. Sin has left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus!

My favourite part of, "The Power of the Cross" is the chorus:

This, the power of the cross
Christ became sin for us
Took the blame, bore the wrath-
We stand forgiven at the cross.

You can stand forgiven, too. It's simple: trust in/believe on Jesus.

Until next time...