What is So Good About Friday!

What is So Good About Friday!

threecrosses

Today is Good Friday!

Luke 23-40-45

But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”


Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”


He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”


By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout. The Temple curtain split right down the middle. Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last.


Was it a good Friday?


How interesting that we call this Friday “Good Friday” when the most heinous act in our human history severely abused and killed an innocent man by hanging him on the cross.


While he hung, two other men were being punished for their crimes and were bantering back and forth discussing the event they find themselves embroiled in. Jesus hears the true heart cry of one criminal for grace and honors his desire by giving him the confidence that he will gain eternity in paradise.


We have heard many a discussion on salvation as it relates to behaviors that some deem reprehensible. Some talk about things that some may do that could cost them their eternity with Jesus but who is the real judge?


How could we lose the entrance to paradise?


Many years ago I went through a series called Evangelism Explosion where we learned how to present the gospel to those we come into contact with. But, I was the main target of my own lesson! I learned about my own salvation that sealed the deal so tightly.


I learned that I did not earn, nor did I deserve a place with Him in paradise from a perfect God!


I learned that my life was imperfect and could never mesh with God’s standards of complete perfection so I was lost without some kind of mediator who could bridge the gap between God and me.


I found that there was nothing that I could do that could heal the broken relationship with God. No matter how hard I might try I couldn’t do enough. I love the passage above because it reveals the power, the mystery, the incomprehensible events that occurred on Good Friday over 2000 years ago.


These events changed my life, they changed yours, they permanently altered a downward spiral of eternal death for humanity!


There is nothing that will save me from eternal death other than the blood of Jesus Christ! Salvation is available for all, equally.


Salvation does not depend on my being good, doing good, or even having a right heart attitude. It only depends on my own willingness and God’s willingness to hear my own heart cry for help.  It is based on a trust that He will meet me there with His grace. I have needed help for my imperfect life from my mother’s womb. I was broken from the start and needed a savior’s love from my first cell splitting!


Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”


I hear far too many who remain estranged from God’s love because somehow they have gotten the message that they are too bad or too broken, for Him to accept them. Or some have walked away from Him thinking that something they have done has separated them from Him.  Some people actually believe He will walk away from us.


Really?


So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—He was raised to life for us!— He is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture.   Romans 8:34-36 (the Message)


His love is unconditional.


I didn’t earn it by anything I have done, and I do not believe I can lose it by anything I have done or might do.


He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”


theif on the cross


The payment for my sin was accomplished through one perfect man, Jesus. He was willing to go to the cross so that I wouldn’t die. He knew there was nothing I could do about my broken life. He made the way for me. He made the way for you.


The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout. The Temple curtain split right down the middle. Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last.


He finished the transaction. Can you imagine being there that day, close to that temple where the huge, thick, iron like curtain was torn, top to bottom? Can you imagine hearing the thunderous sounds of a death that would ring out through the universe?


Can you imagine a God who loves you so much that no matter what you have done, or what you might do, He offers you a redeeming love that transforms you day to day, year after year until you reach His perfection.


Perfect?


Oh, I am not expecting perfection to come to my life anytime soon but I do look for the day when I will see Him face to face when I experience the completion of redemption. It will be my turn to spend eternity in paradise with Him. I look forward to meeting the “thief on the cross” to talk with him about dying beside our Savior.


I look forward to seeing all kinds of imperfect people like myself to find out how Jesus love transformed their life. How did He love them in the midst of their own failures and shortcomings? At what point did they realize they couldn’t earn His love. At what time in their life did they realize they couldn’t lose it – no matter what they felt they had done that worried them about the potential loss of their own paradise.


My prayer on this Good Friday is for the many people who struggle with whether or not Jesus loves them.  I pray that they will see the curtain in their own lives torn in front of them so that the shining light of the Love of Christ meets their eyes with a new life.


jesus_light

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One Response to “What is So Good About Friday!”

  1. Vileen Smid says:

    Your article is so simple to understand yet it can be so hard for people to receive.

    It has been a message that the Lord has wanted all people to receive.

    I pray with you that many will come to an understanding of the precious gift that our Lord & Savior is giving to them and open their hearts.

    Come Lord Jesus.
    Vileen Smid

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