I hope Good Friday makes your Easter that much more wonderful
Old Testament Lesson
Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-33
This is the darkest day of the Christian year, for on this day, our Lord was put to death on a cross for our sins. You know as a child when you are told to go in your room and think about what you've done when you did something wrong? Today is that type of day for us a Christians. We are to think about what our Lord did for us, and reflect upon how even in spite of that, we still choose darkness over light, sin over goodness.
But, even in this dark day, we reminded in verse 23, Jeremiah reminds us that great is God's faithfulness. The cross is about our sin, but it is also about the length that our Lord would go to see us come back home. While we repent of our sin, we also ponder how great the love of our God is for us that He would give us His son so that we could come back home. Today, remember not just the what our Lord endured, but remember why He endured it, because He loves you.
New Testament Lesson
1 Peter 1:10-20
Because of all that our Lord endured, we should want to live differently. We must not be controlled by or conform to this world. We must not believe in what has been called "cheap grace." This is where we take God's grace for granted, where we can sin, and in the back of our mind think, surely God will forgive me, for He loves me!
Yes, our God does love us, and laid down His life for us. But, He did do lay His life down so that we could live like we want. He laid down His life so that we could live like He wants. We are free, but we are free to serve. No one can have to masters, they will love one and hate the other (Matthew 6:24). Today, you cannot have two masters. You cannot serve God and the world. Our Lord did not suffer for us to be divided between God and the world. Our Lord did not go to the cross so that we could play church. Our Lord went to the cross so that we could be truly converted, living for Him.
Today, are we living converted lives? Or are we living with cheap grace? Today, do you take for granted the shed blood of our Lord, and the grace that flows?
We see today, that Judas wasn't the only one to betray our Lord today. While Peter may not have turned him over to authorities as Judas did, Peter denied Him not once, not twice, but three times. Peter talked a good game about being faithful and following to the end. But, in this moment, he denied Jesus because He was afraid.
Today, do we talk about how faithful we are? Do we talk about how much we detest sin? Do we talk about being Christian? And then deny, like Peter did? Every time we choose sin over righteousness, we do. Every time we given into sinful talk, we do. Every time we do not stand for truth at work, with friends, with family, we do.
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today... is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."
- Brennan Manning
I shared this quote in my sermon last week, and I share it with you now. Many of us like to say that we are like Peter. Today, is that case? Today, do we deny, as he did. Today, will we repent of those times when we did not stand, and will we vow to stand for Him. Today.