I had a student ask me last year why they called it Good Friday if this is the day Jesus died. Lucky for me a few other kids that knew the answer piped up with the correct response, and I nodded my head in agreement, telling the kid they were right. That would have been an incredible opportunity to witness; however, separation of church and state stood in my way. I kept quiet.
How would you respond to that question if someone asked you? How in the world would the most atrocious death of its culture–used on our beloved Savior, mind you–be a GOOD Friday? To a non-believer or to a virgin Christian, that is a legitimate question! I bet it makes even some seasoned Christians squirm a bit. Feel free to comment below if you feel inspired to. How would you respond?
Before you do respond, read the following about Christ’s last stand … or wait a second? Was it indeed His last stand? A smile may be growing on some of your faces now as it is mine.
Read John 19: 17-42
Alright, so the grizzly details of the cross are probably PG here. I am wondering if the following links might spell it out what the cross was all about. What about from a historian standpoint? The Mayo clinic put this out there. Check it out: http://www.frugalsites.net/jesus/crucifixion.htm
Too much text? Try something more simple: http://christianity.about.com/od/goodfriday/p/crucifixionhub.htm
What about a video? I’m going to have to agree with Mel Gibson’s interpretation in the Passion of the Christ. If you are squeamish to violence, I would not recommend that one. Find it on your own time. This version is closer to the book of John. I found it this morning for the first time. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiZLQHyWWNo
What would those who were there say about this? Seriously, think about it. What would Mary say? A Roman soldier? What would God say? Christ had a few words He uttered too, but what about the thoughts in His head? I would love to do all of them, but time is my enemy this morning. I have merely 45 minutes to get this out. More than likely it will be postponed to finish this evening. Here is what I think these characters might be saying. Key word there is MIGHT. Once again, as mentioned earlier this week, I do not pretend to be a Biblical scholar, but I am praying now that God will help me interpret as best as my creative mind can fathom. The coffee is flowing well through my veins now, but the true force that I hope will be driving me is that force I spoke of yesterday. You know what I’m talking about. I sure hope you do!
The Roman soldier: This man deserves His death. King of the Jews? King of NOTHING! How dare anyone put Himself to be equal with God! How dare anyone question the authority of my emperor? You are an imposter! And yes, we just gambled your clothes away, you worthless swine. Why must you fight for survival right now? Go ahead and die! Give up your life! You sicken me.
God: I could not be more proud of you, my Son. This hurts me. It really hurts, but it is for the best! Just wait and see! You soon will be at my side forever and all eternity. My spirit, the Holy Spirit, will drive many to spread word of your sacrifice. Just give it time. This is the darkest, lightest day in all humanity. Bittersweet feelings are pouring through all who believe, yet I wonder if it is just you and I who know what is to come. Don’t worry! Come Sunday, they will know. Come Sunday the world will be changed. Forever.
(Let’s pause for a second here. Ever seen this video? My pastors showed it a few years back, and I love it! Preach on, brother! Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YByT6wfdhJs)
Satan: Son of God? Are you listening to me? Hear me now! You may have won the battle of temptation we had not too long ago, but who is winning now? Oh my, how the tables have turned on you, you pathetic fraud! Imposter! You are merely a man, and I have taken you out of the equation. You are mortal! Just like any other human, you are mortal, and now your last seconds are expiring away. (Satan laughs, a deep bellowing, hideous laugh and continues on.) What do you have to say? Speak now!
Jesus: It is finished. My work is done … for now.
Satan: What do you mean? Your life is OVER!
Jesus: Satan, you will never understand. I refuse even to explain it to you. I will let my Father explain it through His actions come Sunday.
Satan: Sunday? You mean when your body is beginning to decompose and rot in the grave? I suppose the smell will be quite appealing. (Satan laughs again, this time more wickedly.)
Jesus: (Smiling in his heart) Let me pick up where I left off before. It is finished! My work on earth is complete. For now, all I have done, which has been for my Heavenly Father, my work is through here. You will never understand, Satan. You may think the battle is won, but it has only begun. Come Sunday, the battle will be over. For good. Just wait and see, Satan. And that is all I will say.
Mary Magdalene: My Savior! My Lord! Are you gone? Have you left us forever? Why must it end this way? Why? (Tears are pouring down her face.) You are the Son of God. Is there any possibility for you to save yourself? If there is, please save yourself, Lord. I cannot bear to watch! (She shields her eyes and ducks her head.)
Roman soldier: Better break His legs before tomorrow. (He raises his arms to crush Christ’s legs, but sees he’s already dead.) Oh, you’re already dead! Let’s make sure of that! (He thrusts his spear into Jesus’ side, making whatever blood was left inside spill out to the dust below.)
Satan: The battle is over. The war has been won! Son of God? Do you have anything left to say? I didn’t think so!
(God smiles, letting a new force never been heard from before answer.)
Holy Spirit: Did you say something?
Satan: Huh? WHAT????
Holy Spirit: I asked you a simple question. Did you say something?
Satan: Who said that? Where is that voice coming from????
Holy Spirit: Over here, Satan.
(Satan whips his head around, seeing nothing.)
Holy Spirit: You’re so pathetic, but I won’t even begin to explain. As you have already been told, you’ll never understand.
Satan: WHO ARE YOU??????
Holy Spirit: Don’t worry, Satan. You’re looking a little frazzled there, but hear me out. Let me officially introduce myself to you. I am the Holy Spirit. I am God. I am Christ. I am everything you hate all rolled up into one, and I will let myself be known to all. Soon.
Satan: How soon? (He begins to cower away, whipping his head from side to side.)
Holy Spirit: I won’t even give you the pleasure of knowing. Only God knows. Me? I follow His orders. I am going to be his most powerful soldier in due time. Christ may be gone, but I am here to stay. Forever.
Satan: That is impossible!
Holy Spirit: Impossible? Anything is possible with God!
Holy Spirit: Just wait and see, Satan. You’ve already been told about Sunday. Enjoy Christ in the grave for now. Enjoy that thought while your warped little mind can.
Satan: He is dead! HE IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!
Holy Spirit: Or so you think. Just wait and see, big boy. Just wait and see. (The Holy Spirit disappears from Satan, leaving the evil one in complete shock and disbelief.)
How powerful is the Holy Spirit in you? How glorious is it that after all these years the Holy Spirit is stronger than ever as Christianity spreads? Now think of this … How much more powerful could the Holy Spirit be if you conjured up the guts to talk to more friends and family about Him? Amen!