April 10, 2009
Thank God it's Friday!
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Romans 6:5-7, NIV
Last year on Good Friday, I attended a Tenebrae service at a small Lutheran church.
I am not a member of this congregation but had heard that its Good Friday service was very liturgical and solemn. And it was just what I was wanting to experience - something to help me remember what Christ did on the cross for us all.
As I sat in the service, I was taken to a dark place. Quite literally as the windows had been covered, and the lights had been dimmed. The robed ministers processed down the center aisle of the church, and I could see that a golden cross was being carried. But it was shrouded in a sheer black cloth.
The symbolism spoke volumes to me and helped to take me to a dark place internally as well. My heart was heavy as I reflected on my sins. They were why Jesus was nailed to the cross and crucified in my place.
During various Scripture readings, those in attendance were also reminded that because of the cross we are now set free. A way was made for us, because Christ died for us. He did what you and I could not do and cancelled payment for our sins with his life.
We then rejoiced that we need no longer fear the grave. We serve a Lord who conquered death through his crucifixion. His body was broken for you and me.
In the darkness of the sanctuary, it was this powerful message of the cross that shone so brightly in all of our hearts and minds. And at the end of our time together, still deep in reflection, we departed in silence.
While doing so, it was almost as if I could hear the pounding of the nails. And I quickly figured out that it wasn't just in my mind. It was actual pounding. I looked around and wondered where this noise was coming from. "What is that?" I whispered to my friend who had attended with me. Neither of us knew what to think.
When we reached the church's narthex, we saw what was causing the commotion. Somehow, on our way into the service, we had missed seeing a very large, wooden cross that was situated between the two doorways leading into the sanctuary. I then saw people of all ages, one by one, walking up to the cross and driving in nails with a hammer. What a powerful picture! And what a vivid display of what Good Friday should represent to all of us.
With a lump in my throat, I was greatly moved as I left the church building. I couldn't stop thinking about this cross. These are our sins - my sins - that have been nailed. They died with Christ. His blood has covered me and has washed me as white as snow. And now, because I have put my faith in our Savior and in what he has done, it is credited to me as righteousness.
If you have acknowledged your need for a Savior and have trusted in our risen Lord, won't you sincerely thank God it is Friday today? Thank him that it truly is a "Good Friday," because we are slaves no more and have been freed from the shackles and power of sin.
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory!
Intersecting Faith & Life: More than egg hunts, baskets of goodies and new Sunday suits or dresses, the real meaning of Easter is the reason you and I have hope in this world. A way was made for you and I to have eternal life! Have you accepted this free gift of salvation? If you would like to know more, please visit Crosswalk's "Who Is Jesus" section here. And make this Friday not only "good," but truly "life-changing."