A Day of Darkness

wordswag_1492168178607Good Friday is a curious name for a day when we recall that the Son of God was laid in the darkness of His grave!  But, we know that the joy of Easter would not exist without this dark day. Jesus was willing to descend into darkness that was incomparably worse than any choice we make. He told His friends, “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:2, NLT He was filled with dread and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26:39, NLT) Think about that.  The Perfect Man, completely submitted to the will of the Father, pleads for release from the coming dark . . .   He knew the Cross was His destiny. He knew the Resurrection was His hope. Even with that hope, it was hard to go through the pain, the alienation from His Father that came from OUR sin.

Think deeply about His sacrifice. It was not forced on Him. He willingly embraced it for me, for you, because of love. (We will stand before the Cross on this evening in our Communion worship. You’re invited to join us at Faith Discovery Church at 7 PM.) He made the choice to descend into the darkness, not for Himself, but for us. His loss was our gain. His obedience bought our salvation from sin, death, and Hell! He bridged the chasm that sin had carved between the Father and His Creation.  The Cross is ugly, but we must not rush past it to get to the Empty Tomb! The glory of the Resurrection morning only is meaningful because of Good Friday’s horror.

Are you confronted with some very difficult choice in your life, a place of darkness?
Is God calling to walk a road that opposes your desires?
Is there pain of self-denial, even death to Self?
Will you willingly descend into the dark of that situation, so that He can lead you into the Light of His purposes?

Jesus points the way for us.  Humility, Obedience, Suffering, Glory – in that order. The Word encourages us with this pattern. “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV)

Look past the pain to the Glory! Grasp the promise of abundant life – presently and eternally – and present yourself as a ‘living sacrifice.’ My prayer for you is this: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21, NIV)

_______________

Jesus Christ,
I think upon Your sacrifice,
You became nothing,
Poured out to death.
Many times I’ve wondered
At Your gift of life,
And I’m in that place once again.
I’m in that place once again.

And once again
I look upon the cross
Where You died,
I’m humbled by Your mercy
And I’m broken inside.
Once again I thank You,
Once again I pour out my life.
Thank You for the cross,
Thank You for the cross,
Thank You for the cross, my Friend.

Now You are exalted
To the highest place,
King of the heavens,
Where one day I’ll bow.
But for now,
I marvel at this saving grace,
And I’m full of praise once again.
I’m full of praise once again.

Once Again – Redman, Matt
EMI Christian Music Publishing
© 1995 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

CCLI License No. 810055

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