Holy Week Friday

Greetings, members and friends of Saint Paul!
 
Welcome to the most somber day of Holy Week as we celebrate Good Friday.  About now someone will probably ask just why it is that we use that term,  Good Friday….  After all, an innocent man, our Lord, Jesus Christ, was falsely tried, convicted, and murdered on this day.  It is truly hard to see much good about that!
 
It is interesting to me that no one knows precisely what the origins of the term are.  The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that:
The origin of the term Good is not clear. Some say it is from “God’s Friday” (Gottes Freitag); others maintain that it is from the German Gute Freitag, and not specially English. Sometimes, too, the day was called Long Friday by the Anglo-Saxons; so today in Denmark.
 
Well perhaps….  It is also interesting to me that in other quarters of the Church it is known as Holy Friday or Great Friday.  Whatever we wish to call it, there are certainly some incredibly good things that came out of the events which occurred on that terribly Friday in history.
 
David, in Psalm 34:6 says,  “I sought the LORD, and He answered me,  And delivered me from all my fears.”  For me, this verse is pivotal own my own understanding of just what Christ has accomplished for us.  It reminds me that, because of what happened that day, I can be delivered from some of my deepest fears.  Here are just a few of those ways:
 
Human Suffering:  Christ was scourged until a bloody pulp, struck repeatedly in the face,  and crowned with a crown of thorns that dug into his scalp down to his skull.
Human Degradation:  Christ was mocked as the the ‘King of the Jews’ and put on display in a purple robe.  His own religious people called for his death while clamoring for the release of Barabbas, a common criminal.  Even as he hung on the cross of his death, the criminals on each side of jeered and insult him.  Even those who had sworn to follow him even to the cross turned away. 
Human Mortality: Christ underwent physical death, with all of its finality, all of its doubt, all of its faith, all of its horror, all of its triumph.
 
Is there anything good from Good Friday?  There certainly is!  I do not believe that the criminal actions that resulted in Christ’s murder were good, not in the least.  But I do firmly believe that, because of Christ’s passion on that cross, I can face today without fear.  And I am praying that all who read this meditation will be able to as well.
 
I hope you will be emboldened to share the good news and invite at least one other person to worship with us on Sunday.  And I hope that your fears today will be nailed to the cross.  After all, If God can physically suffer, if God can be insulted and degraded, if God can truly taste death, then perhaps, you and I have a chance too. 
 
Oh and by the way…. did you know that Good Friday is not the end of the story …?
 
In Christ’s Service,
Kevin Boyd, Pastor
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