Today is Good Friday and Sunday will be Easter Sunday. This year that brings us to circumstances that are not the norm of the past. We are all sheltered in place and Easter church services are online, not in the church building. Many of us are disappointed that we can not celebrate Easter together in our church buildings. But as we look at Good Friday and Easter and the place the Cross has in our celebration, we can reflect on the purpose the Cross has in our celebration.
In our Bible Journaling passage today, the background of the verse is after Jesus has resurrected from the dead and He is walking on the Road to Emmaus and met two disciples; they were discussing the events of the past few days, everything from Jesus’ Triumphal entry to His death, burial, and now His body was not in the tomb. They did not recognize Him because He had blinded their eyes so that they didn’t know who He was. But as they walked, Jesus listened to them and that brings us to today’s verses in Luke 24:25-26, “And He said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’” (NASB) Jesus explained to them why He had to die on the Cross and they still didn’t know who He was. They finally recognized Him when they sat down to eat, and Jesus broke the bread and blessed them and then their eyes were opened.
Jesus told them that He had to endure the Cross so that He could “enter into His glory.” Through His death, salvation was obtained for those who believed in Him, and He was glorified so that He could return to Heaven until He comes again to take Believers back with Him. He explained everything He endured, from His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, to the scourging, beating, mocking, scorn, His torturous death on the cross, and finally His resurrection. All He went through was to secure our salvation and to glorify Him.
When we look at Good Friday, our hearts are broken because we realize that it should have been US on that Cross. And yet, even though there is sadness, there is gratefulness, there is hope, there is peace and joy. All these things cause us to thank God and give glory to the One who paid our sin penalty.
When I lived in Wisconsin, I was a Sunday School teacher to 5 and 6-year-old children. As we were talking about the Cross, the lesson planner for the teacher emphasized that we never leave Jesus on the Cross, but we finish with His resurrection. While I was reading the story of Jesus’ death, one of the little boys in my class became very distraught. His face clouded over, and he had a frown on his face, and I could tell he was thinking about why Jesus had to die on the cross. But when I said, “But Jesus didn’t stay dead, He rose from the grave!” His face lit up and he said, “Jesus didn’t stay dead!” The joy on his face was unmistakable, and I could tell he had let that sink into his heart. It impacted him so much that the next Sunday he repeated it, “Jesus didn’t stay dead!” We as Believers need to be like that little boy, full of the realization that Jesus died for us and is alive today.
Jesus’ death and resurrection also mean that we can have eternal life. John 11:25 says, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (KJV) We can glory in the Cross because of what Jesus has done for us. His death has rescued us from sin and His resurrection has given us freedom over death and the grave. There is a song that Dottie Rambo wrote many years ago called, “I Will Glory in the Cross”. I will leave you with the lyrics to this song as we think about what Good Friday and Easter means.
I Will Glory in The Cross
Writer: Dottie Rambo
I boast not of works nor tell of good deeds
For naught have I done to merit His grace
All glory and praise shall rest upon Him
So willing to die in my place.
I will glory in the cross, in the cross
Lest His suff’ring all be in vain
I will weep no more for the cross that He bore
But I will glory in the cross.
My trophies and crowns, my robe stained with sin
‘Twas all that I had to lay at His feet
Unworthy to eat from the table of life
‘Till Love made provision for me.
© 1978 Designer Music/SESAC, Songs Of Rambo McGuire/SESAC (Adm. By CapitolCMGPublishing.com) Licensing: http://www.CapitolCMGLicensing.com