Saturday, March 26, 2005

Good Friday

"Good Friday" - The Black Crowes

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday - a day for everyone to put on their Easter bonnets and colorful spring fashions to attend services. For those who call themselves Christians, Easter Sunday, along with Christmas, are the two obligatory days for church attendance - other than weddings and funerals. Churches will be crowded tomorrow morning, and then attendance will dip back to normal levels next week.

Easter Sunday is a big deal - it celebrates the resurrection of Christ, giving all who believe a chance to spend eternity with Him. It is an opportunity to reach out to those who attend services casually, hoping that they just might continue coming to worship because of the good news Easter reveals to them. There is, however, a difference between believing in Him and having a relationship with Him. My kids believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy in the same way many who call themselves Christians believe in Christ. If you do not have a personal relationship with Him, and have not given your life, and total control of it to Him, then you don't have the kind of relationship needed to spend that eternity with Him.

This brings me to Good Friday. In my opinion, Good Friday is just as important, if not more important, than Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday and Christ's resurrection could not have happened if the events of Good Friday did not happen. Christ needed to die to take away our burdens and sin - period. Everything that Christ did while on this Earth culminated, in my opinion, on Good Friday. The events leading to His death - betrayal by Judas; a frenzied crowd crying for His crucifixion over that of a common criminal like Barrabas; the barbaric beatings He took from the Roman Guard; the taunting, spitting and humiliation heaped on him by the maddening crowds as He carried His cross towards Golgotha; the suffering He endured while on the cross - all should cause us to pause and reflect on what He really did for us.

If you really want to experience Easter, go to a Good Friday service. When you are reminded of all of these events, all He did, how He suffered, and how He did this all for us, it is almost too much to handle. The emotion that comes out in Good Friday services is not what you will see on Easter Sunday - tears, and a lot of them, from men and women alike, as they recognize what His suffering and eventual death must have been like, and again, how He suffered and died for US.

I will be at Easter Sunday worship tomorrow, and will be rejoicing with all who are there - the members, regulars, and the casual attendees - that He is risen. I was glad I was there last night to be reminded of all He did, and why tomorrow will be special.

Next year, make sure you seek out a Good Friday service. It will be worth your while - and perhaps your eternity.

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