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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.

The Resurrection

By | Uncategorized

We will be gathering this Resurrection Sunday to celebrate Jesus’ raising from the dead. It will be central to our time together, but Easter has also become a time for families to spend quality time together and Heritage is no exception. We will be having a Brunch before our celebration starting at 9:00am in the West Educational Building. Whether this is your first time with us or your first time this week, we want to invite you to join us for this special gathering. There will be food everywhere and plenty of people to meet. Please allow our Heritage family to welcome your family with a plate of food and a friendly greeting.

Though fellowship is important and meaningful, we want to remind everyone why this day is special. Let us start to prepare our hearts by thinking about the wonderful grace shown us through the horrors of the cross, the fear of the grave, and Christ’s triumph over death. He is the reason we sing and have hope. He is the reason for our gatherings and our goings. He is where we place our trust. He, Jesus Christ alone, is the one who takes our place and pays for our sins.

George Whitefield said in his sermon, The Power of Christ’s Resurrection:

It was necessary on our account. “He rose again” (says the apostle) for our justification;” or that the debt we owed to God for our sins, might be fully satisfied and discharged.

It had pleased the Father (for ever adored be his infinite love and free grace) to wound his only Son for our transgressions, and to arrest and confine him in the prison of the grave, as our surety for the guilt we had contracted by setting at nought his commandments. Now had Christ continued always in the grave, we could have had no more assurance that our sins were satisfied for, than any common debtor can have of his creditor’s being satisfied, whilst his surety is kept confined. But he being released from the power of death, we are thereby assured, that with his sacrifice God was well pleased, that our atonement was finished on the cross, and that he hath made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the world…

…God is love; and therefore, could our own wills, or the world, have made us happy, he never would have sent his own dear Son Jesus Christ to die and rise again, to deliver us from the power of them. But because they only torment, and cannot satisfy, therefore God bids us to renounce them.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Some today argue that it does not really matter whether Jesus was physically resurrected. As Christian apologist, Francis Schaeffer, explained in “The Universe and Two Chairs,” Death in the City, Chapter 9, in Book IV of The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, how they couldn’t be more wrong:

The Bible says that Christ rose physically from the dead, that if you had been there that day you would have seen Christ stand up and walk away in a space-time, observable situation of true history. The materialist says, “No, I don’t believe it. Christ was not raised from the dead.” That is unbelief. Liberal theology is also unbelief because it says either that Jesus was not raised from the dead in history, or that maybe he was and maybe he wasn’t because who knows what’s going to happen in this world in which you can’t be sure of anything. The historic resurrection of Christ doesn’t really matter, says this theology; what matters is that the church got a big push from thinking he was raised in history. . . . Now I would say that the old liberalism, the new liberalism, and materialism are basically the same. To all of them finally the same word applies: unbelief.

In God in the Dock, C. S. Lewis said:

“The Christian story is precisely the story of one grand miracle, the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space and time, what is uncreated, eternal, came into nature, into human nature, descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing nature up with Him. It is precisely one great miracle. If you take that away there is nothing specifically Christian left.”

 

Bonhoeffer on Easter from Letters and Papers From PrisonDated Easter Sunday, April 25, 1943

Today the tenth day is finally here again, so that I may write to you. How glad I am to let you know that I am celebrating a happy Easter here. The liberating thing about Good Friday and Easter is that one’s thoughts turn far away from one’s personal fate toward the ultimate meaning of life, suffering, and everything that happens, and one clings to a great hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are wanting to help you grow as much as we can. It is our desire to give you resources which can help you think, meditate, and ultimately worship the Lord with more and more of your heart and mind. Desiringgod.org has made copies of Pastor John Piper’s works available for free as a download. You can click the link on the left and download the book to your favorite device or print it out and read it on those things called paper. Your choice…