In a now famous sermon, Tony Campolo recalls how he was one upped by an Elder in his church with one line repeated all through his sermon, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.” Masterfully the Elder reminded the congregation over and over how when things look bleak, just as they did on that eternally fateful day, victory is coming. Today is Good Friday. In our modern feel good society, it is hard to understand why we would call the brutal death of Christ on the cross good. However, the ultimate outcome of that horrible day was that sin was overcome forever. The veil in the temple that separated us from God, was torn from top to bottom so that we could have access to Him; the very God of the universe. Good Friday is the ultimate lesson in seeing beyond the moment, and to the outcome. As working American’s it is our habit to look forward to Friday. After many years of walking with Christ, I have learned to look forward to Sunday! AMEN
“It’s Friday. Jesus is praying. Peter’s sleeping. Judas is betraying. But Sunday’s comin’.” When the going gets tough, the tough freak out; but what did Jesus do? He prayed! Jesus prayed because He knew it was only Friday.
“It’s Friday. Pilate’s struggling. The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying. They don’t even know that Sunday’s comin’.” With the country deeply divided the past several years, it doesn’t take long to see how emotions can get people stirred up. Will you cave in to your feelings, or will you hold on to your faith?
“It’s Friday. The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd. Mary’s crying. Peter is denying. But they don’t know that Sunday’s a comin’.” Have you ever cried all through the night from grief? Have you ever hit bottom? Have you ever hit bottom and started jack hammering? Sometimes God allows you to be on your back so you are faced up!
“It’s Friday. The Romans beat my Jesus. They robed Him in scarlet. They crowned Him with thorns. But they don’t know that Sunday’s comin’.” During a particularly rough season I shared with a friend that I felt like Rocky at the end of his fight. My friend reminded me that though beaten and battered, Rocky won the fight! So did Jesus. While he took such a harsh beating that he was unrecognizable to his own mother, He conquered sin!
“It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary. His blood dripping. His body stumbling. And his spirit’s burdened. But you see, it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.” You have fought the good fight, you carry His cross daily; but, things are still the same. In Galatians 6:9 we are encouraged, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Besides, only Friday!
“It’s Friday. The world’s winning. People are sinning. And evil’s grinning.” Spurgeon wrote, “Man everywhere, whether he knew anything about the Law of Moses or not, was alienated from his God. The Word of God contains this truthful estimate of our race, ‘They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable. There is none that does good, no, not one.’ The Law was given, however, ‘that the offense might abound.’ Such was the effect of the Law. It did not hinder sin, nor provide a remedy for it.” The remedy came on Friday. Paul writes, in Romans 5:20, “Where sin abounds, grace abounds much further.”
“It’s Friday. The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands to the cross. They nail my Savior’s feet to the cross. And then they raise him up next to criminals. It’s Friday. But let me tell you something, Sunday’s comin’.” How many stories have you told that included the words, “to add insult to injury…”? When Moses went up to Mount Sinai, the Lord said for him to remove his sandals as he was standing on holy ground. God IS holy. Yet, He (a holy God) came to earth as man, lived among mankind, and then took up a cross of torture and shame. To add insult to injury, He (a holy God) while dying a death on a cross, did so in between criminals. Those criminals WERE guilty! The holy God of the universe loved us so much that He came to Earth, walked among us, experienced a humiliating death and did so with the guilty. God knows the sufferings we face, the false accusations and most of all He understands the consequences of believing upon Him. He understands, not because He sits loftily in Heaven, but because He has “been there and done that.” That is why support groups are so effective; they have been there and understand. So has God.
“It’s Friday. The disciples are questioning. What has happened to their King? And the Pharisees are celebrating that their scheming has been achieved. But they don’t know, it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.” My son attended a wonderful Christian school which taught the children to love the Lord by godly example. During an outbreak of violent spring storms, one of the most devastating tornadoes jumped right over the school and created havoc and devastation all around them. However, the school was untouched. The older children had calmed the younger; and they all sang hymns and praise versus to remain composed. In less than a month the school shut down due to division. The enemy of those children’s souls was so angry that he couldn’t cause them to distrust God so he went after their safe haven. Every one of my son’s friends grieved their hearts out at the loss of their treasured school, and yet as young adults they now all walk a strong walk of faith.
“It’s Friday. He’s hanging on the cross feeling forsaken by His Father. Left alone and dying. Can nobody save Him? Oh, it’s Friday. But Sunday’s comin’.” Nearly a year after leaving an abusive marriage, I received a letter from my attorney that made my heart sink. It was the day before Thanksgiving and I longed to talk the devastating news over with someone, anyone. However, I knew that I could not as everyone was running around for the holiday. As I prayed, pouring my heart out to the Lord, I received a notice on my phone that I had an email from a friend. Her email shared with me how she had prayed, interceded and never let me go for the duration of my marriage. The Lord had been with me all along, even though I thought I was alone.
“It’s Friday. The earth trembles. The sky grows dark. My King yields his spirit. It’s Friday. Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered. And Satan’s just a laughing. It’s Friday. Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard. And a rock is rolled into place. But it’s Friday. It is only Friday.” How many times have you seen a dream die after believing you were on the right track? Maybe after praying and fasting you knew without a shadow of a doubt that you had found the perfect will of God for your life, and there you were seeing your hope come to an unforeseen end? Then, a period of time later had you not gone through that experience you could never be on the track you find yourself and it is the most perfect fit for your life?
If you are sitting smack dab in the middle of a never ending Friday, consider joining us at Long Hollow Baptist Church this weekend. We have twenty eight services to choose from.
Today might be Good Friday, but remember Easter Sunday is a comin’!