Today is Good Friday - only good when seen through the lens of Easter. Today is a good day to pause for a moment and reflect upon this. Go back about 2009 years. I am writing at 9:00 am - Jesus has just been crucified. His mother, and John, and Mary Magdalene and a few other women courageously stand to one side of the cross (see John 19:25-26) so that he will not suffer and die alone. Everywhere else are those hurling insults, spitting at him, and, in the case of the soldiers, gambling for his clothing. Even one of those crucified with him seems to find comfort in insulting him. Pause to pray and reflect upon his suffering.
How could something so bad be called "Good?" The answer is because Sunday's comin'. That Sunday following that horrible Friday is what Christianity is built on. If Jesus did not rise from the grave as He said He would, we would be hopeless. However, He did rise, He did do what He said He would do and because of this we have NEW LIFE. Our past is completely forgiven, we have power to live on each day, not just exist but really live, and we have a guaranteed home in the future--Heaven. Not because of what we've done, we can never earn it. But, because of what He's done.
If you need more "heady" proof we've got "The Case for Easter" books available this Sunday at the resource center. Stop by and pick one up to see the scientific and hard data many of you are looking for to help prove the Easter story. The book is written by Lee Strobel who was a Chicago Tribune reporter and atheist who decided to use his research and journalistic skills to finally prove Christianity and the resurrection as false. In the process of his research he found that all the evidence showed it to be true and he became a believer.
Take time today to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for you. If you have never said yes to Jesus before why not make this a really GOOD FRIDAY for you and simply say, "Jesus, I believe you died for me and rose again to prove you are God. Thank you for paying for my sins so I don't have to. As best I know how I will take a step of faith and follow you from this day forward." If you make this decision please let us know by emailing me back. I would be glad to help you with some first steps.
This is why about 2 Billion people will be celebrating this Sunday, because God decided to take the penalty for your sins and mine. We get a great deal; Freedom, Purpose, and Life to the Full! You can't pass up that deal. It's only a GOOD deal because of GOOD FRIDAY and EASTER SUNDAY!