Our Good Friday Moments
Good Friday is a time when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Even most non-Christians have at least some knowledge of Good Friday, although they probably have very little, if any, understanding of what actually took place, or why it was necessary.
Not wanting to minimize the magnitude of what Jesus did for us on Calvary or its weighty significance, I will discuss the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in another post in order that I can at least try to give it the undivided attention it deserves. For now, 2 Corinthians 5:21 declares it very succinctly:
“For He (God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
Out of submission to the Father’s will and great love for us, Jesus set His face like flint toward Jerusalem and ultimately the cross.
Today I want to talk about the concept of facing our own “Good Fridays.” Ours come when God is crucifying something within us that needs to die. Most of us are familiar with and have even quoted the verse in Galatians 2:20, which says:
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
This is an important verse to live by ... but do we? Do we really live as though we are dead? Do we really give our lives over to Christ in such a way that He has the freedom to live in us?
John the Baptist said, “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30.
That’s sanctification! We need to live out our salvation with trembling, especially in these last days. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are renewed, but we must cooperate with His work in helping us grow in holiness. The moment we are born again, the process begins and is ongoing until we are face-to-face with the Savior. Oh, and what a wonderful day that will be for those of us who are in Christ!
In speaking of His death, Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. ” John 12:24 If Jesus must die to bear fruit, don’t we have to submit to the same principle?
In Luke 9:23-24, Jesus said:
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.”
Later in Luke 14: 28-30 Jesus tells the people to count the cost of being His disciple. Is there a cost to being Jesus’ disciple? You thought it was a free gift? Think again and count the cost.
Romans 12:1 says:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
It is our reasonable service. In other words, it is logical that we should expect to present our bodies (our being) unto God. It is the rational thing to do. Let’s put it in everyday terms: It is the least we can do. After all, Jesus gave His life for us. But why would He need my life? Why would He need yours? Maybe using the word, “need” isn’t precise. The Great I Am is self-sufficient. He needs nothing. Reviewing Luke 9:23-24 again, is it for His benefit that I lose my life? He said that if I lose my life for His sake, I will gain life. I am the one who benefits.
When God puts His finger on something in your life, He is asking you to give it over to Him. He wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t time to do so. He wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t within you to do it. He wouldn’t ask if it were not for your benefit and His glory.
So what is God touching right now in your life? A bad habit? An addiction? An attitude? Your money? Your time? A relationship that has become more important to you than your relationship with Him?
This reminds me of the story in Genesis where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Isaac was the promised son, and Abraham loved him very much; however, when God told him to sacrifice Isaac upon the altar, Abraham did not hesitate. As a result, God spared Isaac and blessed Abraham greatly.
When God is crucifying something within you, it is best for you to do as Abraham did.
- Surrender immediately to Him
- Cooperate with what He is doing
- Keep His perspective throughout the process
I think the illustration below, while slightly juvenile, and not 100% theologically correct, speaks volumes: