Friday, April 19, 2019
Preparing Our Hearts For Easter: Do We Get It?
Matthew 26:36-75; 27:1-66
An interesting fact about “Good Friday.” Of all the conversations about the origin of this day (referencing the day of Christ’s crucifixion), the basis seems to be from an ancient idea of “good,” which actually expresses the idea of “holy.” What makes this day holy and set apart unto God?
No human narration, interpretation, nor explanation could ever fully unpack the events from the last supper to the burial of Jesus. Consider those dark events etched carefully upon the history of mankind that culminated in what you and I have come to know as “Good Friday.”
- First, the garden scene represents the agony of Jesus as He faced the reality of His death; against all human resistance the perfect Son of Man said “yes” to a horrific sacrifice of His own body.
- Second, consider how real deception became in the dark of night as Judas kissed Jesus with a mark of betrayal. One of Jesus’ own disciples, absent of any affection or conscience, handed the Son of God over to the arresting party of Jewish authority for a small amount of money.
- Third, observe the cold and aggressive accusations of the Sanhedrin; imagine Jesus starring in the face those who were wolves in sheep’s clothing (those who abused the very people over whom Jesus had wept, considering them sheep without a shepherd).
- Fourth, consider how Jesus witnessed the indifference of Pilate and the anger of a growing mob who yelled, “Crucify Him.”
- Fifth, imagine the physical abuse, the guards pounding Jesus in the face, and the playful use of weapons of torture to mutilate the body of our Lord. The screams of hate. The blood. The violence. The pain. The abandonment. The cross. A slow and agonizing death.
I realize this is too difficult to fully imagine, but do we get it? Do we truly understand how He suffered for you and for me?
Of all the statements Jesus made in those hours hanging on the cross, the most conclusive was, “it is finished” (everything has been accomplished for freedom from sin and hell); the most endearing was, “Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.” At that moment Jesus died while looking to His Heavenly Father.
Do we get it? Jesus suffered. Jesus died. All this took place as God was silent, or so it seemed. Yet, God was far from silent. God gave us His Son in the most complete and final way possible. He did this so that you would have the opportunity to become a son or daughter of God. Because of this, you are free. Yes, this horrific day of suffering is indeed marked as Holy, for this was the day God provided the only way for our lives to be set apart unto Him.
Worship Him today. Thank Him for His Son. Reflect on the suffering and death of Jesus so that your heart may be truly open to God’s love. Wow! What a great way to prepare for Easter.