Today is a solemn day.
This is not a happy day.
The contrast between Good Friday and Easter Sunday could not be greater.
On this day we heard the passion reading in its entirety.
While it is a rather long reading it is worth hearing the whole reading of Jesus’ crucifixion.
In hearing this reading, we are called to reflection.
Today is a day to ponder the meaning of the cross.
It is a day to repent – to turn from our sinful ways and to turn to God.
It also a day to do some self-examination.
Ask these questions.
How am I living my life?
What do I need to let go of?
What losses have I experienced in my life?
What things do I need to grieve and then can I give those things to God?
For example, am I struggling with some kind of addiction be it to food, work, a relationship or even to a harmful feeling such as anxiety?
We can get attached to things in life in very destructive ways.
Can I name that struggle to God, grieve that I have that struggle, and then can I let it go and give it to God.
What do I need to let go of today and give that to God?
Today is a day to think about such things.
It is a day to do inner work on our hearts.
It is a day to die to those things that do not give life.
Jesus said that if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 16: 24-25
And Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; those who follow me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
When we die to those things that do not give life and then follow after Jesus we will be walking in the very light of God.
This day affects us personally.
Faith is always personal but we also believe that the cross impacts the life of the whole world.
On this Good Friday we recall that when Jesus died on the cross God gathered all people to himself.
This night we are scattered.
We are not together in one place.
Today Christians are scattered throughout the world.
But still God gathers us.
And one day he will gather all of us together.
In the Gospel of John chapter eleven verses 51 and 52 we hear how Jesus died for the nations and also in order to gather into one all the dispersed children of God.
Knowing how God will gather all of God’s people once again we walk with our Lord to the cross this day believing that God is also healing us.
In the Bible the words healing and salvation are closely tied.
To be saved by God is to also be healed by God.
In the saving work of God through the cross of Christ what area or areas of your life do you need healing this night.
Bring those things that need healing in your life to God.
Trust in the atoning work of Jesus on the cross.
He can atone for your sins, for your past mistakes, for the areas of your life where you need healing grace.
Tonight, I will pray for healing for us through the cross.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son be lifted up so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
John 3: 14-15
Following Jesus to the cross this day is costly but it is well worth the cost.
Through the cross we receive life, healing, and salvation.