Holy Week is here! Our aim this week as a church is to remember the road that Jesus walked on the last days of his earthly life. On this blog, we've been highlighting the different days of Holy Week so that you'll be better equipped to enter into this time of reflection and remembrance. I talked about Palm Sunday three weeks ago, Maundy Thursday last week, and now I want to briefly mention Good Friday.
What: Good Friday
When: Friday, April 18th, 2014
Themes: Somber sobriety - it was our sin that nailed him to the cross. Profound wonder and gratitude - Jesus willingly gave himself for us out of his great love, and his death accomplished our redemption!
Good Friday is the day that Jesus was arrested, tried, beaten, crucified, and killed. In almost every sense of the word, it was not a good day. The sinless Son of God died unjustly as an innocent man at the hands of his enemies. But in the truest sense, this day was good. It was - and still is - the best day, where Jesus willingly gave himself out of his great love to purchase our redemption so that we could be called sons and daughters of God.
It is no stretch to say that without the events of Good Friday, we would still be separated from God with no hope of redemption. We would be "dead men walking", bowed down low by the weight of our sin and the sure knowledge that all our roads ended in death and judgment. We would be orphans without a Father, without a family, left to fend for ourselves in a world that is ruled by one who devours defenseless things for breakfast. We would still be draped in chains, enslaved to the power of sin, exerting its cruel force inside of us and imposed on us from outside oppressors and oppressive institutes. Without the events of Good Friday, goodness itself would be but a pipe dream.
But Good Friday did happen. And what transpired on this dark day - culminating three days later on Sunday - quite literally changes everything.
And so we gather on Friday to sit in the somber hue of the darkest day ever, mourning our sin that slaughtered the Lamb of God. But we also gather on Friday to kneel at the foot of the cross, crying out in wonder and gratitude that he would suffer in our place. Us, the very ones who crucified him. And when we grasp this profound paradox, that Jesus proactively loved us by giving himself up even as we proactively hated him by killing him, we will be undone. We will be knocked to the ground. We will be stunned into silence.
You are invited to join the Sojourn family this Friday evening at 7 PM as we remember and reflect on this dark (yet so very good) day that Jesus died. We will be reading through the Passion story, with several times of singing built in for times to respond. The Good Friday service will end in silence, as we wait with bated breath for Sunday to come.