Today is one of my favorite days. Perhaps that sounds odd, even with a name like "Good Friday," it being the recognition of the day my Christ was crucified. However, without the remembrance of what Christ went through for me (and all sinners), His resurrection and our celebration of it on Easter Sunday would mean nothing.
I have always loved and appreciated the verse in Isaiah, "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisment of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (53:5)
I think too often we forget or don't want to remember the ugliness of the cross and what Christ WILLINGLY did for each and every one of us, whether we accept the gift of His suffering or not. Does it make sense when I say that I don't like to focus on it yet I want to remember that ugliness and that suffering, even though I honestly can say I don't understand it? Can any of us living here in a land where we are not physically tortured and tormented for our faith really understand what Christ went through? And yet, Jesus' work for our salvation was only started that day before Passover so long ago. He truly was the last Passover lamb, unblemished, perfect in every way.
I am soooo thankful that His story didn't end with His words, "It is finished." Because we have hope in the knowledge that Jesus is alive! Salvation was given to us through His sacrificial death, even though at the time His friends and disciples didn't understand...but hope and joy and understanding came with His resurrection three days later.
One of the things I enjoy so much about the Park Rapids area is that we have a Community inter-(intra?) denominational service on Good Friday. Seven Christian churches of different denominations came together again today as they do each year to participate in remembering what Christ did for us. There was some laughter at times, lots of tears, we heard a few "amens!" and "Glory to God, thank You, Jesus!" (it was in the Assemblies of God church this year), but we were united as God's family through the main belief of Christianity....Christ's death leading up to His resurrection. We took communion together and greeted each other as the brothers and sisters in Christ that all of us who believe in Him and have asked forgiveness of our sins are.
Amen! Hallelujah! Glory to God! THANK YOU, JESUS!