It’s Good Friday. The most somber of days on the Christian calendar. A day of sacred remembrance of Christ’s most holy sacrifice, once and for all paying the price for our sin.
So they took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
Gospel of John 19:16-19
S.M. Lockridge served as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego from 1953 to 1993. Though his most recognized message is probably “That’s my King!” I cannot pass a Good Friday without recalling his classic Easter meditation. I reproduce it here, and then share my thoughts afterwards.
It’s Friday -Jesus is praying. Peter’s a sleeping. Judas is betraying. But Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday -Pilate’s struggling. The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying. They don’t even know that Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday -The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd. Mary’s crying. Peter is denying. But they don’t know that Sunday’s a comin’! It’s Friday -The Romans beat my Jesus. They robe him in scarlet. They crown him with thorns. But they don’t know that Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday -See Jesus walking to Calvary. His blood dripping. His body stumbling. And his spirit’s burdened. But you see, it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday -The world’s winning. People are sinning. And evil’s grinning. It’s Friday -The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands to the cross. They nail my Savior’s feet to the cross. And then they raise him up next to criminals. It’s Friday -But let me tell you something - Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday -The disciples are questioning what has happened to their King. And the Pharisees are celebrating that their scheming has been achieved. But they don’t know it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday -He’s hanging on the cross. Left alone and dying. Can nobody save him? It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’! It’s Friday -The earth trembles. The sky grows dark. My King yields his spirit. It’s Friday -Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered. And Satan’s just a laughin’. It’s Friday -Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard. And a rock is rolled into place. But it’s Friday. It is only Friday. Sunday is a comin’!
Today it’s Friday across the globe, not just on the calendar but in many of our hearts.
We look around and see the COVID-19 still dominates travel after two years. Over 6.1 million people have died. Economies have shut down. In many nations all over the world people are still confined to their homes. Many are in danger of losing their homes. Many have no homes to which they can be confined. But it’s only Friday.
War rages between Russia and the Ukraine. One out of every two Ukrainian children has been displaced by the ongoing war. Ethiopia remains embroiled in a civil war. The Taliban rule Afghanistan with an iron burka. China is rattling its sabers at Taiwan. Yemen’s war faded from the headlines when Afghanistan took over the news cycle, but the battles continue. Sadly, I’ve only touched the surface of global conflicts. But it’s only Friday.
Schools from kindergarten to college have closed, or are opening with staggered part-time classes. Countless businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. Inflation is running rampant But it’s only Friday.
This listing of dark and depressing facts could go on for page after page. And many a preacher today will make reference to this same reflection:
It’s Friday — But Sunday’s a comin’.
And while we remember Good Friday today as we prepare for Resurrection Sunday (and it is good and proper that we should do so) – let’s not forget that the original Resurrection Sunday came over 2,000 years ago. As did the original Great Commission. And the original Pentecost.
While we remember Good Friday, let’s also remember WHY our Messiah endured that day.
Because of what Christ accomplished on the cross and in His resurrection and ascension
… we are washed in the Blood of Christ
… we are forgiven of every sin
… we are offered to be filled with the Holy Spirit
… we are empowered to be His witnesses
… we are the Church, the hands, feet and voice of Jesus Christ Himself
… we are the ones He sent to bring the message of freedom from sin
… we are the ones He called to go into the highways and byways of the world to reach the lost
… we are those who have the power to bind and to loose
… we are each one of us gifted in many ways for the task…. we are His solution to the darkness and despair of Friday.
He has sent US!
We are the bought, the washed, the forgiven, the filled, the empowered. We are those He called to go into all the world and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. We are the ones who He promises to have signs follow as we go. We are the ones commanded to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cast out demons.
He didn’t leave us as orphans, but He sent His Holy Spirit to empower us for the task.
Today we recall Good Friday. But only in the light of Resurrection Sunday can any of what happened on that day be characterized as “good.”
And it is only as we live out our Great Commission that the world can see that Friday become “good.”
We deliver the offer of salvation, bought and paid for at so great a price.
We bring the promise of healing – physical, emotional and spiritual.
We love the unlovable and care for the forsaken.
By our obedience, we fulfill what Christ intended.
In a very real manner, to a world lost in darkness – WE ARE SUNDAY!
Let’s live it out, and be faithful to all He has called us.
The world needs to see that Sunday’s a comin’ ….
They need to see it IN US!
WE ARE SUNDAY!