The English-speaking world calls the day Jesus was crucified Good Friday. The same day is called “Long Friday” in Finnish. The Finnish version emphasizes the long hours on the cross. The English version emphasizes the outcome of the crucifixion of Jesus. Either way it is because of us that Jesus was crucified.
It is pretty hard to admit that we are such sinners that without the sacrifice of Jesus we would never have an access back to God. It is pretty hard to admit that we are such sinners that we are ready to kill Jesus. That’s why it is pretty tough just to read Luke 22:63-23:12. It feels bad to see how terribly Jesus was treated. It feels bad to think that we are capable to do such horrible things. It feels bad to think that we would turn our backs to Jesus wanting his death when it would be for our benefit to do against God’s will. This Bible story illustrates, however, that God’s will will happen no matter how much the world (or us) fights against God.
Even though, it feels bad to read about Jesus’ trials, Jesus himself knew what was the name of the game. He knew that the decision had already been made, there was no point to defend himself. Jesus also knew that this political game was not going to prevent God’s will to happen in this world. God’s salvation plan was in the works, there was nothing to stop it. It had been set in the motion in the beginning of the world and it was going to happen. God wanted to save the world so bad that he gave his only son to die on the cross so that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
This text warns us against trusting ourselves or worldly powers. The security comes from God alone. We need to be careful about constructing life that is not according to God’s will. We are called to examine our lives whether we are keeping God first in our lives. We are called to examine if we have truly submitted ourselves to God or not. Good Friday is a blessed opportunity to do this. Good Friday provides us time to ask God to prepare our hearts for the joy of Easter. Good Friday is necessary so that the joy of Easter would not escape us but would bless us and help us to grow more deeper in grace.
We are called to follow Jesus. It’s not popular. But that’s what we are called to do. We are called to take the promises of the Bible and implement them in our lives. We are called to work with God. We are called to live and work as God directs us.
This text also offers comfort for all who are suffering. Jesus has experienced what you are going through. You are not alone in your pain. Even if you feel that you are 6 feet under, know that Jesus was buried, too. Even if you feel that there is no way out of where you are, know that anything is possible to God. Impossible is nothing to God. Know that when you die on the cross with Jesus, you will be resurrected, too. God loves you and calls you back to him. God loves you and offers you life and everlasting life!
Today’s world is against God like it was 2000 years ago. This world screams “you can do anything you want”, “believe what you want”, “be your own king”! But these voices lead us astray. God calls us back to him but the way is narrow. The way back to God is Jesus. The way back to God is paved with repentance.
God loves us too much to leave us where he found us. God loved too much to leave us responsible for our own salvation. God’s plan for salvation was 100% God’s doing 2000 years ago. God’s plan for salvation is 100% God’s doing today. We can’t save ourselves. We are completely dependent on God’s saving grace. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Fortunately this is still what God wants. God has not changed his mind. God wants to welcome us back to him. God wants to save us from darkness to light, from death to life. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God’s plan for salvation is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ!
Thank you for your salvation plan!
Thank you for giving us the way back to you.
Forgive us our sins! Restore us!
Prepare our hearts for Easter joy and
May your will happen in our lives.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What has God been teaching you this Holy Week?
May God’s tremendous love touch you, my fellow pilgrim! Be blessed!
I found workingpreacher.org to be a terrific inspiration for writing this post. Parts of this post has been previously published on 04-31-10.