Thursday, April 9, 2009

Reflections on Good Friday

In David's church growing up, they never actually celebrated Good Friday or Easter. (Or Christmas, for that matter.) Their conviction is that every Sunday is the Lord's Day, so that each worship service celebrates the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.

It's a good reminder that our brethren in the early days of the church started gathering on the first day of the week, calling it the Lord's Day, to worship the Christ who died and then rose from the grave on that very day.

But I do think that properly understood, one can still find value in the special reminder of the work of Christ on the cross found in Easter. Having a Good Friday and an Easter Sunday recognizes certain human frailties. Like how easy it is to grow complacent in our faith. And how quickly we forget how awesome the message of the gospel really is.

Think about it -- the holy and righteous God and creator of the whole universe, seeing His creation fallen in sin, provided the perfect solution. He sent His Son to earth to live a perfect life among us, being tempted in all the ways we are but being without sin. Jesus then died on the cross for us all, bearing the weight of our sin, and serving as the perfect sacrificial lamb to turn away God's wrath. He then conquered sin and death, rising again on the third day. By His grace alone, we can come before God forgiven, seeing His transformative work in our lives here on earth, and rest secure in our hope for a glorious eternity.

Too often, I forget just how amazing this gospel message truly is. What an incredible gift is offered to us all! So I appreciate having a time specifically set aside each year to remember.

And this weekend, we'll be remembering together. We've got the interfellowship Good Friday service tomorrow night, which is always my favorite service of the year -- a time of Scripture reading, music, testimony, and prayer as we all come together to remember Christ's death on the cross. And then we'll have a series of celebrations on Easter Sunday -- a sunrise service, a baptism, and a luncheon with dear friends.

This Easter, may we all remember the amazing wonders of the cross. And may we not so quickly forget.

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. [Isaiah 53:5, ESV]

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. [Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV]

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. [Romans 8:1-4, NIV]

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. [Ephesians 2:4-10, NIV]

1 comment:

Ivy Mom said...

What a special weekend to remember what Christ did for each of us. I agree that every Sunday is the Lord's day and what He did impacts each day He gives us to live.

Enjoy your weekend services and Happy Easter!