Lent 39 (2012)–The Good of Good Friday

Luke 22:7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed… (13b) So they prepared the Passover. 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Today is Good Friday and the day we remember Jesus’ death on the cross.  At first blush, the name Good Friday seems kind of incongruous.  How can it possibly be good that Jesus died?

Jesus said, John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered,

 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

What’s so good about Good Friday?  It’s good for us.  Jesus had to leave in order to prepare a place for us by first making peace with God on our behalf. 

The Gift of Unity we experience is because–apart from the sinless Son of God–every man, woman, and child ever born shares one fallen nature, one sin condition, one common need for a Savior, and for all who believe, Jesus provided the one and only way. 

This Gift of Unity is seen in no more profound expression than in the institution of the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist.   It is here that Christians—everywhere in the world and from Jesus’ Last Supper onward in time—we have a pilgrimage to share a simple meal remembering the one and only Messiah. 

Our pilgrimage is no longer once a year to a holy place like Jerusalem or to a temple in that city.  We journey spiritually and remember continually.  We climb the steps Up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Gift of Unity made possible by the new covenant in His blood.  Blood that was shed as the Good of Good Friday.

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup,

you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes

(1 Corinthians 11:26)


Categories Chapel Worship/News | Tags: | Posted on April 6, 2012

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