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Friday, April 6, 2012

The Beauty of Good Friday

I just read the story of Judas hanging himself after Jesus has been sent to Pilate for execution. I wonder exactly what went on in his mind. What did he think would happen when he turned Jesus over to the religious leaders who had made it known that they wanted to execute Jesus? Surely, he knew their hearts.

Did he think that Jesus would be proven innocent once all evidence was presented. Maybe he didn't count on Jesus' compliance with the religious leaders in their accusations. Maybe he expected Jesus to stand up for himself when he had evidence which would support His case and to be silent when He had evidence otherwise. Maybe he thought that the other disciples would speak up for Jesus.

Of course, none of that happened. These religious leaders would not have allowed it to happen anyway. They had already made their minds up. They were going to execute Jesus. They just had to figure out how to justify their action.

So, Judas brings his thirty pieces of silver back to the chief priests and elders. He has betrayed innocent blood. He wants to buy back his innocence. But thirty pieces of silver will never buy back innocence.

With nothing left to restore his soul, Judas is in such despair that he can no longer live with himself. He believes he has finally done something which cannot be forgiven. The only apparent solution is to die. He hangs himself.

Many years ago I sat with a young lady who confessed to me that she had an abortion. She told me that she had finally done something that she couldn't be forgiven for. I told her emphatically, "You're wrong! You're wrong! Jesus died on a Friday to pay for your sins."

This young lady came to the realization that she was, indeed, forgiven by Jesus. She realized He paid the price of her sins and for all others who will accept Him.

Months later she went with our church on a mission trip in which several people went door to door to tell the good news of Jesus forgiveness and salvation. at the end of one day she was not at the place I would was supposed to pick her up. Each woman had been partnered with a man so that there would be some measure of safety. I found the two of them walking toward the rondezvous point. She was crying. As she got in the van I asked her what was wrong.

She said, "I was talking to a lady named Betty and I told her that Jesus had paid for her sins no matter what she had done. Betty said, 'I wish I could believe that, and I told her, 'It is true, Betty, it is true!' but she just wouldn't accept it."

This young woman knew something that Judas never realized. It was good Friday because the sins he, I and everyone else have committed were forgiven forever. Judas was right in one thing. The price was much higher than thirty pieces of silver.

Romans 5:6 (NIV) 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.


georgi said...

Thank you for your faithfulness. Wonderful and very thought provoking...have a blessed Easter.

Anonymous said...

The near tearing and the ache
In my so many years as a Christian, I cannot remember I ever, at any Good Friday or Holy Week remembrance, on hearing a simple message, had my eyes close to tearing, and my heart senses an "ache". It happened this 2012 Week. I mean I watched movie clips and so on and so forth, over the many Holy Week remembrances before, but none had invoked such a "condition".

It was kind of strange, coming off it, yet I had to acknowledge it, that I have NOT felt like that before, for such an occasion, when the pastor over the pulpit in church, in a simple message, said that "Jesus went to Cross". It was as if the Father God has allowed me to catch a glimpse of the "ache" of His heart to have His son to die such cruel death. I thought I just share how this year's Good Friday's remembrance has been meaningful to me.

What were shown us?
The crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ was indeed the depiction of

(1) the love of the Father God, that He so loved the world that He would send His one and only begotten Son to die on Cross, that we should NOT perish but have eternal life (God loving men - John 3:16); and of

(2) the love of the Lord, Jesus Christ, for the Father God, to be willing to be come to be the Redeeming Sacrifice, to ransom men back for God (loving God back).

(3) In it, too, was the highest portrayal of "If you have NOT loved those whom you can see, how could you have loved Me" (loving God by loving men). Jesus did just that - He loves us, men, and lived it out in action - die for each and every one of us.

The twin pillars of the love commandments have been fulfilled in crucifixion, by our Lord, Jesus Christ; and the demand of holiness of God was satisfied, and Jesus was NOT assigned to Hell, but was to be in Hades for 3 days and 3 nights (and for a purpose too) and was then resurrected by the power of the Father God.

The Most Beautiful Love Story can be yours, too
It is the most beautiful love story of which EVERYONE is a part; it is only if you will receive it in - that Jesus died for you, and He did it, for His love for God, for He knew the Father God loved you from the very beginning.

Jesus has done it, put His love into action; no matter what you have done in the past; Jesus is waiting for you to appropriate the story for yourself; in other words, all you have to do is to "uncount" yourself from the Sinners' camp, the camp of which Satan heads the list, and count yourself with the Saints' camp headed by our Lord Jesus Christ. No matter what you have done, even if you have aborted or murdered, the Lord's redeeming sacrifice is good enough as ransom for your forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

COnt. from preceding page

This is God's "system", NOT men's. By coming into salvation, you are reconciling back to God, NOT to men; but with divine help, you can work on your reconciliation with men where necessary. Good Friday is beautiful because it is the divine solution to a divine problem, first; it is then beautiful, because it is also the solution of your earthly life, for, people in God's camp can look forward to His divine ways, help and provision, as we follow Him, led by the Holy Spirit.

If you are non-believer or NOT a Christian yet, and if you are pressed from every side, or perplexed, or persecuted, or struck down, you do NOT need to be crushed, despair, be abandoned, and be destroyed; come into salvation. If you are non-believer or NOT Christian yet, and if you are sorrowful, or resentful, or full of bitterness, or full of anger or hatred, or loveless, you can come off your negative emotions and states; come into salvation. Talk to a Christian friend (email me if you want); have him/her explain to you how you can come into salvation, and experience the love of God already manifest more than 2,000 years ago on the Cross; make the greatest love story your personal story, too.

You have to respond personally
Jesus is the propitiation for the whole world (1 John 2:2), but you need to personally (entry into salvation needs to be personally done) have your name penned into the Book of Lamb or the Book of Life. Today, have your name written in, and have it stay in, forever more. Amen.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions