A Very Good Friday

Around the world today we will celebrate what we call “Good Friday.” It’s the time when we remember the day that Jesus was put upon the cross. Most people know something of the story of the death of Jesus and why He died. In fact, just a few days before His death, Jesus plainly told His followers what was about to take place. He said to them in John 12:32, “When I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw everyone to myself.”

Jesus, in fact, told His followers several times why He had come to earth, why He would die, and that He would come again after His death. When we read the words of Jesus, how plainly He spoke of these events, it can boggle our minds when we realize that His followers just didn’t get it. Their hopes were that Jesus would overthrow Rome and set Israel free from Roman rule.

We could easily stand in dismay and wonder at the thick headed disciples. Jesus clearly told them — so why didn’t they understand? Actually, we can’t be too hard on them because we are no different today. Throughout Scripture God has recorded His Words to us. Those words are full of hope and promise, and yet, like the disciples, we so often just don’t get it. We read what He says, but we make plans of our own. We especially want our plans to unfold — now! We tell God what we want, ask His blessings, then stand in dismay when those plans don’t materialize as we had thought they should.

When God doesn’t do as we want Him to, then our joy fades. We are perplexed and, like the disciples the night before Jesus was killed, we run away, scared and confused at the dashing of our hopes.

I encourage us all on this very Good Friday, to pay attention to our Father’s Words. They are true all the time. Meditate upon His promises. Look through Scripture and see how many promises you can find. It’s amazing! Let’s hope in what Father says, not in what we want Him to say at any given time in our lives. Remember, He always has your best interests in His heart. He has designed a perfect plan for you and for me. Yes, we can mess up those plans. Thankfully, we have a perfect and loving God who can take what we ruined and give it life again. After all, bringing light out of darkness and life out of death, is a specialty of His.

When Jesus said those words to His followers, “When I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw everyone to myself,” He was offering hope and promise such as the world had never seen. He was offering to take all our sin, all our hopelessness, all our despair, everything ugly in our lives upon Himself. As a result He could offer eternal forgiveness of sins, hope, joy, and He offered to make something beautiful of our lives.

He gave Himself to the death of the cross “to draw everyone to Himself.” Let’s stay focused on His plans for our lives and let’s leave the timing of those plans to His perfect strategy. The blueprint He has drawn for your life is something magnificent — and it’s all because of what happened on Good Friday.

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