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Monday, March 29, 2010

Good Friday - the Day Christ Died

Good Friday – the Day Christ Died

Christianity can not be compared with any other world religion! No other faith system –Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc, espouses the belief that God so loves His people that He has given His Son to die for them. Followers of other religions don’t believe in a humble Savior who sacrificed and bled and died on the cross for their sins. They are on their own. They must work to receive any rewards and to avoid eternal punishment. Moslems believe that Allah has a scale to measure and judge their deeds throughout life – the good works, observances and pilgrimages are weighed against sins. Other major religions teach their followers that they must work their way through many reincarnations in order to finally reach Nirvana or perfection.

We Christians don’t have to work our way through reincarnations to reach perfection. Our good deeds don’t have to be weighed carefully on a measuring scale against our sins. We have Jesus, the Man of sorrows, who stood condemned in our place and sealed our pardon with His blood. What a Savior! In Him we have the Way, the Truth and the Life! We are given the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us. God did it all for us. We don’t have to struggle with a works righteousness system. We have Jesus Christ and that makes all the difference. Christianity can not be compared with any other of the world religions!!!

So this is the time of year that we Christians remember our Saviors’ passion, and we observe the day Christ died on Good Friday. Because He died for each of us He becomes our personal Savior. He is our Vine and we are His branches. Scripture calls Him our bridegroom and we are called the bride of Christ. Other religious groups cannot comprehend these amazing truths. We have so much! We can never comprehend how much has been sacrificed for us or how high the price that was paid for our salvation.

The story of His agony as told in Matthew 27 is hard to read. There was darkness over all of the land from the sixth hour of His crucifixion up to the ninth hour,(noon till 3:00p.m) when He finally died there on the cross. An earthquake shook the land just after His death and the veil of the temple was split in two from the top to the bottom. Even though signs and wonders accompanied Christ’s death, the religious Jews of His day didn’t want to acknowledge the truth and refused to believe. Seven hundred years before Christ’s death, stories of His suffering and His death had been foretold in detail by the prophet Isaiah. - Isaiah 52:23-53:12. These evidences are overlooked by those who don’t want to believe.

Because we believe that Christ died for us, we have been given the privilege not only to reign with Him in glory but also to suffer with Him. The Christian is promised victory but he/she is also promised persecution and suffering. Christ has warned us that since the world hated Him, it will also hate us. Jesus bore the cross for us and each of us will also have a cross to bear for Him. Jesus had His Good Friday and we will have ours.

Good Friday has come to symbolize death and darkness, betrayal and suffering. And there is an inevitable Good Friday element to our lives. At some point Good Friday finds us all. Sometimes it’s a set of circumstances that appear to be unredeemable and sometimes we are betrayed by those we have trusted the most, even family. Good Friday sometimes seems to be winning in our lives. When we read the seven last words of Christ on the cross, at one point we find Him praying, “My God, my God, Why have You forsaken me?” And sometimes we pray those words with Him. There are moments when everything can seem so dark and hopeless in our lives. But we’re Christians and we’ve read the whole Bible. We know the rest of the Story. We know that after our Good Friday, Easter is coming.

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