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Its Good Friday
4/14/2017

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18 (NKJV)

Well, here it is, Friday — a day often associated with the end of the workweek. For many it is a threshold of relief, rest and relaxation. But today’s Friday is different than most, as it is Good Friday, a day we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Roughly two thousand years ago Jesus fulfilled His earthly ministry by going to the cross of Calvary, and taking the sins of the world upon Himself, so that man could be reconciled unto God.

Just one week prior to His crucifixion, the people had lined the streets during the celebration of Passover, and they threw their cloaks on the ground and laid palm branches on the road ahead of Jesus—shouting out, “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” Throwing their cloaks in the path of Jesus was an act of respect and submission. These people were recognizing Jesus as the promised Messiah. 

And so there is this sense of anticipation filling the air. Some had witnessed Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Some had simply heard about it and they were intrigued—wanting to get a closer look, and possibly see Jesus do more miracles. The Pharisees were there, and they wanted to kill Jesus badly; they were freaking out, saying, “We’re accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”(John 12:19)

All these people who were crying out “Hosanna,” and calling Him, “The King of Israel” believed Jesus had come to deliver them from their bondage, and to provide for them materially — believing He’d overthrow the Roman Government.

But Jesus didn’t bring them a worldly physical kingdom; He had come to bring them—and us—a spiritual eternal kingdom.

Jesus knew He would be betrayed by one of those who were closest to Him—His disciple Judas. He knew the very people who were now crying out “Hosanna” would be the very same people who would be crying, “Crucify Him!”  He knew that He would be flogged nearly to death with a flagrum—consisting of leather straps embedded with metal and glass fragments with small metal balls sewn into the end of each thong.  He knew He would be beaten so badly that He would hardly be recognizable. The NLT translation of Isaiah’s prophecy says it this way—

But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. Isaiah 52:14 (NLT)

Jesus knew He would be stripped naked and hung in shame before all the people. He knew He would face the physical agony of dislocated limbs and organs. Jesus knew that when He died, it would mean that the curse of every sin of mankind would be placed upon His shoulders, and that He would be a propitiation for our sins. And He did this willingly, because He loves us. 

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 (NKJV)

We who are in Christ are forgiven—We are a new creation, and are spiritually alive in Christ. This is a great Friday! Praise God, and Amen…

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures in this devotional, why did Jesus die for us, and what can we be assured of by placing our faith in Him as our Lord and Savior?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: What does Jesus’ sacrifice, and death upon the cross mean to you personally?

APPLICATION: Choose to share the story of Good Friday with others today.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for Your love for me. Thank You for allowing Your Son to die for my sin, and for allowing me to become Your child by my profession of faith in Jesus. Help me to share this good news with others today, and this weekend as I celebrate Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. In Jesus' precious name, amen...

 

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000