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What’s with Good Friday?

By | Ministry

What are we to make of Good Friday? Why is it called “good“? And why are we to celebrate a death? These are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves as we approach this day. Heritage is committed to remembering the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and the tremendous price He paid, once for all, for our sins. On Friday night, March the 25th, Heritage will be having a Good Friday Service. We would love for you to join us in remembering the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Service will last approximately one hour starting at 7pm.

Pastor C.H. Spurgeon from his sermon, “Sad Fasts Changed to Glad Feasts,” on the significance of celebrating Good Friday.

The Lord of life and glory was nailed to the accursed tree. He died by the act of guilty men. We, by our sins, crucified the Son of God.

We might have expected that, in remembrance of his death, we should have been called to a long, sad, rigorous fast. Do not many men think so even today? See how they observe Good Friday, a sad, sad day to many; yet our Lord has never enjoined our keeping such a day, or bidden us to look back upon his death under such a melancholy aspect.

Instead of that, having passed out from under the old covenant into the new, and resting in our risen Lord, who once was slain, we commemorate his death by a festival most joyous. It came over the Passover, which was a feast of the Jews; but unlike that feast, which was kept by unleavened bread, this feast is brimful of joy and gladness. It is composed of bread and of wine, without a trace of bitter herbs, or anything that suggests sorrow and grief. …

The memorial of Christ’s death is a festival, not a funeral; and we are to come to the table with gladsome hearts and go away from it with praises, for “after supper they sang a hymn” [Matt 26:30, Mark 14:26].

Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.  (Luke 23:46)

Pastor James Montgomery Boice pointed out in  Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter, (pp. 99-100):

From very early in the history of the church, preachers have noted that Jesus’ last words show that he was in total control of the situation, as he had been in every moment of his life.  For these are not the words of an exhausted man, as if Jesus merely died from dehydration, loss of blood, shock, extreme fatigue, or suffocation.  Not at all.  They record a deliberate act of dismissing his spirit…

This shows what Jesus was doing on the cross, particularly in these last moments.   He was reflecting on Scripture… Four of the seven last words were from the Old Testament.  Only Jesus’ direct addresses to God on behalf of the soldiers, to the dying thief, and to his mother and the beloved disciple were not.  This means that Jesus was filling his mind and strengthening his spirit not by trying to keep a stiff upper lip or look for a silver lining, as we might say, but by an act of deliberately remembering and consciously clinging to the great prophecies and promises of God.  If Jesus did that, don’t you think you should do it too?  And not only when you come to die.

You need to fill your head with Scripture and think of your life in terms of the promises of Scripture now.  If you do not do it now, how will you ever find strength to do it when you come to die?  You must live by Scripture, committing your spirit into the hands of God day by day if you are to yield your spirit into God’s loving hands trustingly at the last.