It's difficult to put into words, really, my random thoughts about this day.
Years ago, Good Friday for me meant a four-to-five hour Holy Communion Service, which consisted of a hell, fire, and brimstone sermon, worn-out choir numbers, a miracle massacre healing service, concluding with a candlelight "shhhh, angels are in the midst of us" communion service. Long, drawn-out, Hollywood productions where we sang the Old Rugged Cross over and over and over. But I honestly believe few of us really knew the true meaning of that day.
Guilt and anguish washed over me for just wanting to be home, filling my kids Easter baskets with jelly beans, Reese's peanut butter eggs, and those marshmallowy peeps. (Hey, it was the 70s, we didn't do nutrition back then.)
My point is, I was always so wrapped up in a Please God, get me out of this church service prayer, that I never saw Good Friday for what it truly was. I was forced to go to church, at gunpoint it seemed, and then blasted out of my pew with fear, guilt, and shame for not wanting to join the rest of the congregation while they flocked to the altar for their weekly obligation of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. If the preacher didn't see us prostrate at least once a month, then we were not walking in the "divine" will of the Lord.
As far as I know, this is still going on in that messed-up church- to this very day. I know. Sick.
So, Pam, what do you believe about Good Friday?
Do I believe Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate and that he had him flogged until the flesh fell off his bones?
Yes. I do.
Do I believe that Pilate declared Jesus innocent, washing his own hands in water to show he had no part in this condemnation?
Yes. I do.
Do I believe Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified in order to hold off a riot and ultimately to keep his job?
Do I believe Jesus carried his cross to the place of the Skull, or Golgotha as it is known in Hebrew, or Calvary-the Latin word for the site of execution?
Do I believe Jesus agonized on the cross for six hours. And that during his last three hours on the cross, from noon to 3pm, there was darkness over the whole earth?
Do I really believe when Jesus died that there was an earthquake, that tombs broke open, and a centurion on guard at the site of crucifixion declared, "Truly, this was God's Son!"
With all my heart, I believe it.
Did Jesus die for the sins of the world?
Yes. He did.
Was he resurrected on the third day?
Yes, He was resurrected!
Is Jesus the Son of God?
Without a doubt.
I never doubted it. I never doubted the story, because my heart tells me it's true. I believe we were created to worship Him. I never believed anything less, than Christ, His blood, and his righteousness.
But at least now, I can focus on the message, and never again the delivery.
Blessings to you and yours on this Good Friday.