Bible reading: Matthew 27:32-66
It’s finally the Easter Weekend!
Generations for many years have celebrated this day as ‘Good Friday’.
Have you ever considered though, that for Jesus, it was a very, very bad Friday?
On the back of betrayals and denials of his friends, antagonism of the people He gave up everything for, he was led up a lonely walk to be crucified. It was a day of intense pain- pain like had never been known before.
Whip after whip, blood drip after blood drip and sip after sip, he very painfully gave up His spirit.
In every way, death had won.
And in every way, he was a victim.
Thousands of years later, we know better! Love won. Life won. He was no victim- He is the forever Victor!
Wonder whether it’s a bad Friday for you? Maybe a difficult season of your life? It feels like a tough season all over the world. Maybe it’s a dark moment for you? Maybe a period of pain or of pressures?
I think that in Jesus example, there
are some key reminders in dealing with your ‘Bad Fridays’:
The Pressure of Pain Does Not Negate The Power of the Promise
We many times struggle to reconcile the fact that the pursuit of God’s purpose can involve pain or pressure. If it did with Jesus, then maybe you need to wake up to that. This is not to imply that every time there is pain or pressure, a purpose is being fulfilled, but everyone genuinely following in God’s plans and purposes for his life will here and there face that ‘little bit’ of pain that it brings. There’s a high cost of purpose.
But the good news is that when hell does its worst, God is still doing His best. The power of the promise is greater! It’s greater than the momentary pain. It’s greater than the pressures.
So, what’s most important is not the pain you feel in the moment. What’s most important is whether or not you’re in a God-direction. If you are, stay on. Stay through. Refuse to be overwhelmed. The pain will soon be over. And you’ll realize the promise never shifted.
There’s More Going On Behind The Scenes Than On The Screens.
Imagine you got to watch the Jewish TV news that Friday night. Trending would have been stories of a dead ‘self-acclaimed’ Messiah. Or at best maybe a few paid announcement Obituaries- Gone Too Soons, Glorious Exits, and all that. ‘He has since been buried…’
The screens are always full of the apparent.
But behind the scenes, there’s a bigger story being told. Jesus was conquering hell, paying the price for the sin of all humanity, restoring us back to God.
On the screens, the devil was shouting ‘dead now’; behind the scenes, I was shouting ‘I’m now alive forever!’ On the screens, hell was shouting ‘yes, we got him!’; behind the scenes I was shouting ‘Yes, God’s got me!’
On the screens, hell called it a bad Friday, but behind the scenes God called it a really good Friday- the best Friday ever! A Friday that will restore humanity to life in God, a Friday that will forgive sin and destroy the power of it, that will open heaven’s doors to us.
I pray that through every dark season of life you’ll be courageous enough to remember that there’s a working of God in you. What the devil means for evil, God still works for good.
Happy Good Friday!