Saturday, April 4, 2015

What's so Good About Good Friday?

Good Friday is the day in the Christian calendar when the commemoration of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ the Son of God is observed.

Luke 23:26-27, 32-46  
The Crucifixion of Jesus 
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. ...
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews. 
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 
The Death of Jesus 
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

So for a Christian what is 'good' about it. I mean its such a dark sad time remembering that Jesus was crucified and died an agonising death in obedience even though He had asked for this burden to be taken away - He still did it.

Matthew 26:36-42
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 

Maybe we should call it Black Friday or Dark Friday or Bad Friday or ...


Jesus did do this....

and why....?

Because He loves us and so was prepared to pay the price of death and eternal sin for each of us...

And that is so good. That is very Good!

We don't deserve it and can never pay that price ourselves, but we don't have to because Jesus has. That is good.

So today was Good Friday. Its not really a day of celebration but we in Tirau honoured the day by taking a walk as Jesus did carrying a cross through the streets.

With Rev John Rush leading us out we crossed SH1 and waked for awhile carrying the cross, a mallet and some symbolic spikes.

We also carried banners proclaiming the:

 "Lamb of God"

"Man of Sorrows"

"If you see me, you see the Father"

"Price of Peace"

"By HIs wounds we are healed"

"Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"

When we reached the top of the hill after a few changes in who was carrying the cross we rested and then made our way back down through town.

It was interesting to have people honk and wave as we walked. Some people stopped and watched and I pray that it was a focus for them at this time.

We unfortunately got some who chose to abuse us with 'signs' and voices but that just added to the appeal of what we were doing.

For Christ too was ridiculed and beaten.

Luke 22:63-65
The Guards Mock Jesus 

63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him. 

Once back down the hill and outside the church, we set the cross up and it was draped in a black cloth - the symbol of death.

While John prayed we took it in turns to hammer in some nails in recognition of the nailing of our own sins to the cross when Jesus was nailed and crucified.

When He did this for us He took all our sin upon Himself and they were nailed there with Him.

1 Peter 2:24  “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Those who wanted, lingered for a time and I heated up some hot cross buns and made the supper ready for those who were ready to relax. The cross will be left where it is for all those who travel through Tirau over the next two days during this Easter Season and the prayer is that our act of drama, art and display will help all to remember what Easter is all about.

All scripture is taken from The New International Version

No comments :

Post a Comment