What’s So Good about Friday

(Note to readers/listeners of this message: This Good Friday message was a multimedia presentation. I created three video narratives where the text accompanied images. I also included clips from sermonspice.com that were interspersed throughout the message. There was also participation in congregational worship at various points in the message [indicated in this text]. The audio is taken from the videos I made, from two of the sermonspice.com clips, and from the few times I did speak live. None of the worship choruses are included in the audio.)

{Show video “Put to Death” (from sermonspice.com)}

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23 (NIV)

For the wages of sin is death,…Romans 6:23 (NIV)

{Worship
? Nothing but the Blood}

Reflection

(from “WhatSoGoodAboutFriday clip#1)
Today we’re going to take some time to think about Jesus. Actually we’re going to think about the cross (pause) where Jesus died. Have you thought about the cross lately? Have you thought about your sin lately? Have you thought about why we call this Friday, at this time of year, every year that we recognize it – good?

What was good about a man’s friend betraying him with a kiss? What was good about the rest of His friends fleeing into the night – leaving Him to the mercy of a hostile mob? What was good about a man coming before a trial of judges made up of priests, and religious leaders – accusing him of blasphemy and condemning Him to death? What was good about that?

Have you thought about the claims Jesus made lately?

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God

The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Matthew 26:63-64 (NIV)

Was this claim what sealed his death sentence?

Those around Him knew Him to be a man, there was nothing supernatural about His appearance. He got hungry, he got tired, He wept, He laughed, He felt pain.

Yet those closest to Him knew Him for something more – yes He was fully man, but they also saw in Him the signature of deity.

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Matthew 16:15-18 (NIV)

He healed the sick, the blind gained sight, the lame walked, the possessed were freed. He walked on water, He made a banquet out of a lunch, He woke up the dead from their final sleep! Certainly there was legitimacy to this claim of Christ, the Son of God. God Himself.

But then, what is so good about Friday? What is so good about God surrendering to a rabble, submitting to a mockery of a trial – being spit on, cursed upon, pushed around, whipped, dragged through torture, paraded as a criminal and nailed to a cross. That kind of God really doesn’t inspire much confidence does he? Does he?
{Worship
? All Hail King Jesus (D)
? Holy, Holy, Holy (D)}

Jesus claimed He came to give life (What’sSoGoodAboutFriday Clip #2)

7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:7-10 (NIV)

Came to give life, and life… more…abundantly. Jesus not only claimed to offer life – but life fuller than people knew. A complete life.

But then, what is so good about Friday? What is so good about this man full of life, who offers this full life, being put to death on a cross. To death. A complete death. Please…don’t tell me the nails, the crown of thorns, the lashing of whip lined with metal to tear the flesh, the scorching sun, the relentless thirst, and a being staked on a proven instrument of death … didn’t kill Jesus. He was dead. He was dead.

What is so good about Friday? What is so good about death?

{Show Video “I Wonder” from sermonspice.com}

{Worship
? Above All (A) [Starting with Chorus “crucified, laid behind a stone…”]}

Jesus also said… (What’sSoGoodAboutFriday Clip #3)

...”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus claimed He was the way

…the way to the Father, the way to life, the way to heaven, the way to peace, the way to salvation.

Here is what is so good about Friday. Jesus could have chosen to remain aloof, stay in heaven – being God it was, it is, within His power to do so; God could have chosen to abandon this broken world, it’s broken people, to the curse of sin and given up on us – God could have even decided to start over, to try again.

But He didn’t.

What is good about Friday, isn’t what God did – it isn’t the fact that Jesus came to earth – fully God and fully human – to walk among us. It isn’t that He endured the betrayal of those closest to Him. It isn’t that He allowed the travesty of a staged trial cast undeserved slurs and charges upon Him. It isn’t that He was dragged off to Pilate, beaten, whipped, spit upon, stripped naked, or mocked. It isn’t good because the same crowd that welcomed Him a week ago shouting “Hosanna, Hosanna” was now screaming “Crucify Him, Crucify Him”. It isn’t good because of his death in the most cruel form of capital punishment known in the Roman world.

No friends,

What is good about Friday is one thing only…

{show video “all for love” from sermonspice.com}

{Worship
? You are My King (D) [start with chorus “Amazing Love, how can it be…”]}

{Show PowerPoint picture of the Cross}
{Spoken Live}

CONCLUSION

Yes, friends – what was good, what is good about the Friday before Easter is that everything occurred that day because of God’s love for you, for me. It was love that brought Him to this planet as Jesus, it was love that carried Him to the cross as the way of ending once and for all the death grip of sin on every single one of us. Because of His love we now have a choice. We can choose to remain in the curse of sin and it’s death, or we can choose to receive the gift of life in Jesus Christ.

It is God’s love that not only dealt with sin but brought and brings new life to every single follower of Jesus Christ. It is God’s love that enables us to walk in relationship with Him through the work and presence of the Holy Spirit in every believer’s heart. It is God love that is what is good about Friday.

Have you thought about the cross lately, Have you thought about your sin lately, Have you thought about God’s love lately?

{Worship
? The Old Rugged Cross
? Forever Grateful (G)
? I Cry Holy, Holy, Holy God (G)
? I Stand in Awe of You (G)
? I Cry Holy (reprise)}

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