Good Friday 20 Centuries Ago
Pastor Ben Spitler
Thank God for that Friday 20 centuries ago. It was in April. Could have been a day just like today. At three in the afternoon that Friday, Jesus died for our sins.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:4-6)
Every Good Friday I try to imagine what was happening with Jesus as the day unfolds for me. It’s 10 minutes after 11 in the morning right now. Was Jesus’ back being laid open with a Roman whip? Was He standing silently before Pilate? Were the crowds shouting for Him to be crucified? This is a day to remember that we “were bought with a price.” Tonight’s Tenebrae service will be an opportunity to remember the events of last evening and today. I hope many of you will come.
Tony Campolo, Christian sociologist, author and speaker preached a message years ago titled, “Friday’s Here, but Sunday’s a Comin’!” The prophetic words about Jesus in the prophet Isaiah continued—
. . .and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied (Isaiah 53:10-11).
The story didn’t end on Friday. It took a turn for the good beyond what we could have ever imagined. I’m looking forward to our services on Easter Sunday! I hope you’ll plan to be there and between now and then invite some folks to join you!
Easter is all about HOPE! Jesus Christ is our HOPE! No matter what you or those you love might be going through today, I’m here to tell you that God can and will see you through if you’ll trust Him. It might be Friday for you, but Sunday’s coming! God bless you today!