Posted by: Terry | April 7, 2009

Good Friday – “do this in remembrance of me”

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.” (Mat. 27.45 NIV)

We celebrate Easter, quietly. We celebrate Christmas expensively. But it is Good Friday that Jesus desired for us to remember frequently.

Christmas is important because, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” Easter is proof that all Jesus said and did was true. Good Friday is when Jesus voluntarily laid down his life as an offering for sin, providing a way of forgiveness for all who believe.

Jesus hung on the cross for only six hours, a brief time in the expanse of eternity. For three of those hours there was darkness on the land, while the innocent Son of God took on the sin of the world. G. Campbell Morgan says that this is the central passage in the whole account of the crucifixion.

The cross is the message of the early church, it is the central theme of what the Apostle Paul preached, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (Romans 2.2)

The cross is God’s definitive manifestation of his love for us, not an example of a martyred teacher, but the self-offering of the divine savior. It is the motivation for all holy living.

It was not until the fourth century that any observance was noticed of the birth of Jesus. Easter was observed, but there was confusion as to the date, and the festivities tended to be subdued. There is no Biblical imperative to observe either event.

But Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion, was in the heart and mind of Jesus the day before he died. When he celebrated Passover with his disciples he also instituted the ordinance of communion, Lord’s Supper, Eucharist. He told them to “do this in remembrance of me.” Paul writes, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Cor. 11.26)

Christ Crucified is our message to the world and it is to always be on our mind.

When tempted, the cross gives motivation to resist. When enduring difficulties, the cross gives strength to persevere. When persecuted, the cross makes sense of it all. When disciplined the cross assures us that it is because of love not judgment. When stressed at the events in the world the cross gives hope for the future.

Good Friday – “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5.8)

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