Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It IS a Good Friday

**April 9th post that I'm just getting around to uploading**

Good Friday is a big deal in my faith. It marks the day when Jesus, in human form, willingly let himself be crucified as an eternal sacrifice for all sinners. It was a day He always knew was coming; a day he could have gotten out of, if He wanted to. Instead, he chose to be lead up that hill at Calvary, spit on, beaten, ridiculed, mocked and generally debased on every level.

Why would He do such a thing? Why would anyone? I don’t believe “anyone” else would have, even if they could. Self-sacrifice is difficult enough as a parent or spouse, yet required. Jesus’s sacrifice for people He hadn’t even met yet, for people He knew would continually let him down can only be seen as insane. But, I’m sure we can all attest to a point in time, when momentarily we were “crazy in love” and willing to (or actually did do) something utterly ridiculous for a particular person. That person is me. I mean, literally, I was that person that caused Jesus to give His life. You are that person too. If you choose to accept the love, its power is limitless.

For some, accepting love is harder than giving love away. It’s like “why do I deserve this?” The truthful answer is “you don’t and you never will.” We like to think that we’re worth so much as individuals. But, honestly, could anything we’ve done be worthy of a sacrifice on a cross? If your answer is yes, then on the other hand is there anything t0hat you’ve done that could have warranted that gift being taken away? I’m sure that answer was a little different. The fantastic thing is that we never have to worry about the latter. Our salvation will never be taken away. Once God gives it, He lets us have it forever (whether we do right by Him or not). How is that possible?

 I think that’s where the beauty of grace comes in. Grace is God’s favor on us, “just because”. It’s like buying your kid an ice cream cone even when they haven’t been on their best behavior (or have in fact been quite awful) just because he/she is yours and you love him. Because He loves us, He allows us certain liberties that we could never earn and He doesn’t want us to. All He asks is that we love him back. Do things with Him in mind.

Getting ready to curse somebody out? Wait, what would Jesus think about that? “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, only what is good, necessary for edification that it may impart grace to the hearer”-Ephesians 5:29.

Getting ready to lie to your boss about your timesheet? What would Jesus think? “Therefore, put away lying, let each on speak the truth…” -Ephesians 4:25

It’s not always easy, but it’s so worth it. Ok, but wait, what is this salvation and how do I get it? Once we accept that we are all sinners, no matter how good we try to be and profess with our mouths that God is Lord in our lives, we are saved. It’s known as the sinner’s prayer and it’s as simple as saying (and really meaning) a few simple words. That’s it! Then, we have the gift of salvation forever. God is truly awesome and the display on the cross on that “good Friday” is that awesomeness personified.

An example of a sinner’s prayer: “Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”

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