Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

This morning I was surprised a little bit when I overheard one of my coworkers say, "I'll go ask MaryAnn.  She seems to know what the story is with stuff."  Then he came to me and said, "What is all this Good Friday stuff about?  Is it a holiday?"
I was a bit dumbfounded.  I know that I shouldn't have been; I haven't really been under the impression that this man was a Christian.  I just hoped he knew more about the Gospel than it seems he actually does.  What followed was a far too brief conversation wherein I tried to describe for him what Good Friday is about.  And what Resurrection Sunday is about.  Then he wanted to know if Catholics were Christians & how Catholics are different from other churches.  That's the point where I feel like the wheels fell off the bus & our conversation got derailed.

When situations like this come up & I have the opportunity to share some of the important aspects of my faith I always feel like I wish I could have said more...I feel like I wish they had understood more...I feel very inadequate.  But for some reason the Lord gives me these opportunities & I will keep praying for His help & maybe someday, sometime it will really click for someone.

The whole conversation got me thinking - how many others know nothing of the significance of Good Friday?  I decided that I would explain it just a bit in this post today since it is Good Friday!  I tend to get a little lost in the details of things but hopefully I can tell you about this important part of Christ's life without causing you any confusion.

Christ was the perfect Son of God.  He came to earth & lived a sinless life.  He came to earth with one objective - to save us from our sin.  While He was here He worked miracle after miracle - turning water to wine, calming stormy seas, countless healings, incredible provision for many from very little - He was man but He was God.  All of the aspects of His ministry - the miracles & the teaching - culminated in one event, His crucifixion on the cross of Calvary.  He was betrayed by one of his own friends to a group of enemies who forced Him through an unfair trial that eventually led to His sentence of death - crucifixion.  The evil plans of man fell parallel to the perfect plan of God to save a world fallen into sin.  Good Friday is the day that we remember this perfect, selfless sacrifice of the Son of God to save us all from our sin. 

Hundreds of years before Christ walked this earth, the prophet Isaiah wrote about His death on the cross:

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. 
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all
Isaiah 53:4-6

It is humbling to recognize the depth of love that God has for us - that He would sacrifice His own Son to buy us back from our sin. 

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
II Corinthians 5:21

Today my heart is filled with gratitude that Christ would be willing to be my Savior.  Knowing that I have a home in heaven & the Holy Spirit within to help me live this life gives me hope, joy & peace for each day.  I hope you have that, too.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

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