Today, we recognize a day titled “Good Friday”. It’s a day to pause and remember the physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse that Jesus encountered, on his way to his “Good Friday” execution on the cross, nearly 2000 years ago.
Jesus wasn’t killed. Jesus allowed himself to be sacrificed by the powers of the world, as a personal gift to you and me… and for ALL people through all ages. It was a sacrificial gift from Jesus, that each of us are free to CHOOSE to accept, or to reject. What is the choice that Jesus is offering us?
“Will you partner with me in this life, let me walk beside you through all things that you will face, and provide you with the strength, healing and blessings of my eternal presence?”
While he struggled on that previous Thursday night in prayer, humanly begging God to take away “this cup” of physical suffering and death that was facing him in the hours ahead, he also knew that in order to provide that GIFT to each of us, he needed to follow the path toward the cross that lay ahead of him. It was hard: but Jesus CHOSE to continue the journey anyway, because of his deep and unending love for YOU. He left his mortal future in God’s hands: “Not my will, but thy will be done”.
Jesus’ constant message was showing us the way that God wants US to live. Yes, in this life, we all face varying forms of abuse, neglect, broken relationships, friends that turn away, disappointments, and shattered dreams. Jesus experienced more than his share of those too. He knows how you feel!
By allowing “the world” to kill his body, Jesus positioned himself to show God’s real power and message: Human death is NOT the end!
Life, as the world understood it, was ended for Jesus on that first Good Friday afternoon. The problems that Jesus’ teaching & ministry had caused in Jerusalem society, and for the Roman occupation armies, were “put to rest” when they laid his dead body in the temporary garden tomb on that Friday evening. Or so they thought!
As he agonizingly died his physical death on that afternoon, he proclaimed “it is finished!” The work of preparing for the “rest of the story” was done. He had invested his 3 years of ministry, among both Jews and Gentiles… constantly pointing people toward God. Would they listen? Would they understand? Would they respond?
Only the future would know… for now, “it is finished”.
Let’s pause today, and consider the “preparatory” gift that Jesus offers to you through this Good Friday execution.
Come back tomorrow, for the “next chapter” in the story! And plan to find a Community of Christ congregation near you. Explore with us, the Easter Story this Sunday!