Hebrews 12:2b “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”
Imagine for a moment that you are there, standing at the foot of the cross, watching as Jesus hangs… watching as he’s dying! Imagine that you have heard about all the miracles he’s done. You’ve seen him heal the sick and you’ve listened to his teachings. Your heart believed everything he had said and you started to have hope that the true Messiah had finally come. But now, you see that hope dying on a cross between two thieves, and his God doesn’t seem to be stepping in. You see hope being lost all around you and you are left with the choice… look past what’s happening at the moment and continue to stand firm in hope or give up like everyone else. Could YOU still believe, standing there that Friday?
It’s easy to say that we would still believe, since we KNOW that Jesus defeated death and was resurrected Easter morning. But if we truly think about our lives and the situations we find ourselves in, we sometimes find it hard to keep hope in our current “Friday” situations? Those situations that seem dark and defeated that Jesus has promised us victory in, but we are standing at the foot of that situation, watching it die. Just like it’s hard to see the “good” in Good Friday, it can be hard to see hope in our circumstances.
On Good Friday, we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. As terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter. Without that awful day, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust and believe in Jesus. As Christians, we vow to take up the cross of Jesus. This very act is our agreement to take on suffering and hardship, just as Jesus did, knowing that it will lead us to a triumphant victory. I know that it can be hard to keep hope, because some situations seem so bleak and so final. Some situations fit the perfect description of disaster and the enemy quickly whispers death in our ear. But if we can see past what it looks like and see the “good” in our Friday situations, that hope is sure to carry us on to victory!
I challenge you this weekend as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our King Jesus, don’t look past Friday. The cross is where God’s righteousness coincides with his mercy. We receive divine forgiveness, mercy and peace because Jesus took our divine punishment. Not only are our sins forgiven, but we have the ultimate peace knowing that, although we sometimes have to take up the cross as Jesus did, but we don’t have to suffer and die alone, like Jesus did. We have the One that is good, the only One that is good with us, as we learn to hold on to the hope and the “good” in Good Friday.
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us your son, Jesus to die for our sins. Jesus we love you and thank you for willingly giving your life for our sins. As we take up our own cross as Christians, let us never forget the good in your sacrifice and the promise of victory on the other side. We forever love and praise you. Amen!
By: Min. April Carter