April 10, 2009 - Good Friday

Today’s Reading: St. John 18:1-19:42

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 12:29-32;13:1-16; Hebrews 6:1-20

But one of the soliders pierced His side with a spear and immediately blood and water flowed.” (St. John 19:34)

In the Name of Jesus. Amen. Thank God! Good Friday is so “good” because God is hanging there on the Cross. That’s God, answering for my sins.

I betrayed Him, treated Him like a criminal, handed Him over to religious leaders who falsely accused Him. I slapped Him, punched Him, and beat Him. I freed a murderer instead of Him, and even made the innocent Jesus carry His own Cross to His death. And already beaten and bruised, I nailed Him to it. I stripped Him naked and gambled for His clothes. I hoisted Him above the earth and I mocked Him while He hung there. Finally, I taunted Him until He died.

So did you.

For all this that we have done, we certainly deserve hell. We should be punished not just for now, but for all eternity. We deserve for Him to come down from the Cross and destroy us by the might and power of Almighty God. “Take this you sinners! Take what you deserve!”

Yet, He bore our sadness upon Himself. He carried our sorrows in Himself. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed,” (Isaiah 53:5-6).

Then before He died, He spoke that last word, “Tetelestai.” In English, that’s “It is finished.” Our sins, our guilt, our pain, our suffering, our death, all finished, marked “Paid in Full” by Almighty God Himself, for Christ’s sake.

If you give up anything, anything at all on this most Holy Day, give up your guilt and pain. Let your heart be troubled no more. Christ, the very Lamb of God, has taken away your sins.

Run to your Baptism and the Lord’s Supper! Those baptismal waters are the waters flowing from His pierced side. His Supper is where you receive the Blood that poured out that Good Friday. Be forgiven. Be at peace. God is now at peace with you, because of Good Friday.

Happy Lent! Put on a repentant smile today! Walk out of church justified! In Christ, God Himself has answered for your sins. All that God could be upset about in you died with Jesus. That makes “Good Friday” not only “good” but happy, too! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty God, graciously behold this Your family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men to suffer death upon the cross; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.” (Collect for Good Friday)