We call today “Good Friday” but over 2000 years ago it was anything but good. The disciples of Jesus’ whole world had been turned upside down in one day. Confusion, Disbelief, Fear, Heartbreak and Shock were just a few of the emotions they were feeling. Rabbi, healer, miracle worker, they believed Jesus was The Messiah! The band of friends had just celebrated Passover together. It couldn’t possibly be real – it didn’t make sense – but they watched with their own eyes as the soldiers nailed Him to a cross like a vile criminal!
Some of the men and women, faithful followers of Jesus, gathered together trying to grasp the situation and others were in hiding. It was now the Sabbath and there was nothing they could do. How could everything go wrong in such a short time? He hadn’t done anything to deserve what happened. The disciples had put all their hope in Him and now it seemed gone.
While Jesus hung on the cross He forgave the repentant thief, showing us that it is never to late to ask for forgiveness until our last breath. On Passover HE provided the one and only perfect, holy and final sacrifice. His last cry “It is finished” was not a cry of defeat but of victory. The Temple curtain kept everyone and everything away from the holiness of God. When the massive curtain tore in half it showed the access we now have to come before a Holy God through Jesus’s own blood sacrifice.
Jesus’ body had been quickly laid in a borrowed tomb just before Sabbath began. Early the next morning a few women gathered to go to the tomb and properly prepare His body for burial as was tradition. They wondered how they would move the stone sealing the grave and if the soldiers would give them grief. But as they approached the burial site they were shocked to see the stone had already been rolled away….
But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead….. Matt 28:5-7
Jesus is alive! He soon after met with them, ate with them and explained the Scriptures about Himself. Christians around the world celebrate Easter because our hope is not based on earthly wishful thinking but assurance from God. Jesus’ sacrifice provides forgiveness and restoration in our relationship with The Father. His resurrection offers us power and victory for everyday.
Tragedy can strike quickly and indiscriminately and it may seem hopeless. We are left reeling to try and make sense of the circumstances and figure out the next steps. That’s how the disciples felt on Good Friday. Right now our daily lives are disrupted, loved ones are distanced and many people have died. But Our Hope is Alive!
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
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:15-16
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, Heb 6:19
We are loved. We have help. We have hope. We can have peace.
Because He Lives
God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus,
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives!