SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Psa 118:24) This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Fridays. It’s the day of the week you usually look forward to. Just thinking about it keeps you going all week because Friday means the weekend is here! There’s even a popular restaurant named after this day of the week. (I don’t think “Mondays” would sell!) It’s hard to have a bad Friday. In fact every Friday seems like a GOOD FRIDAY. But there was one Friday in history that wasn’t so good. But after Sunday everything resolved and now this special day of the year is called GOOD FRIDAY.
GOOD FRIDAY is the Friday that Jesus was crucified. But looking back in the week we see that the Sunday before was Palm Sunday. It was the day Jesus came into Jerusalem on that donkey and the people sang Hosanna! That week He gave His last teachings to His followers. Then on Thursday night was the Passover meal with His disciples where Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper or what we call communion. That night in the garden of Gethsemane he was arrested by the treachery of Judas and tried before the authorities and mocked and beaten all night. Come Friday morning Pilate sentenced Him to be crucified. He was nailed to a Roman cross in the morning and expired that afternoon with the weight of mankind’s sins upon Him. Subsequently He was buried in a tomb.
But did anything happen the rest of Friday and Saturday? The Bible teaches that Jesus went down to Sheol (or Hades), the place of the departed dead. (Eph 4:9) (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? Luke 16 describes that the Old Testament afterlife had two compartments. One was the place of paradise (or Abraham’s bosom) and the other was the place of torments. Jesus went into the place of paradise (Luke 23:43) and preached liberty to the captives (Luke 4:18) by stating He would take them to heaven when He rose from the dead. (Eph 4:8) Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”
And then Sunday! The Bible says Jesus arose before the sun was up (John 20:1). This is why every year many Christians hold Easter sunrise services to commemorate this event.
Think of all that Jesus went through for you on that horrible Friday. How horrific to behold the Son of God high on that cross. No wonder God allowed darkness over all the land that afternoon that helped to veil our Savior’s anguish! (Isa 53:5) But 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. (Rom 4:25) who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. Now because of GOOD FRIDAY every day is a good day…not just Fridays!