"Happy Good Friday" is not really something we say to each other.
Good Friday is appropriately celebrated with solemnity and reverence,
with churches draped in black cloths and filled with the hushed tones
While listening to sermon yesterday a passage hit me with a whole new
appreciation of not only Good Friday but the cross itself.
"1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of
witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that
so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked
out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of
our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning
its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you
will not grow weary and lose heart."
The author of Hebrews spent chapter 11 laying out case after case of
Old Testament examples of God's faithfulness. Men acted in faith and
God proved Himself faithful time after time. And so here in chapter
12 the author asks us, "Why, in full view of God's providence and
faithfulness throughout the Bible, throughout Church history, and
throughout our own lives do we allow not only sin to entangle us, but
why do we allow anything to hinder us from fully trusting Him and
running towards (and with) Him?" I don't know about you but that's a
very convicting question for me.
What is the writer's answer? To fix our eyes on Jesus, who in full
view of all of those same things, who being the author and fulfillment
of all of those promises, and for the JOY set before Him endured the
It's hard to imagine Jesus' steps towards calvary being steeped in joy.
"This step is for joy."
"This step is for joy."
"This nail is for joy."
We've been studying the fruits of the Spirit out here in Mongolia and
something I learned while studying them is that we need to see all of
those things when we look at the cross. When we look at the cross we
have to see God's love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It is the culmination of
all of the promises He made to man from the beginning of time and it
is a promise and assurance to all of us.
So on Good Friday we have to ask ourselves, what was that joy that
drove Jesus to the cross?
As some would say, was it to give us health, wealth, prosperity, and
comfort? Was it so we could deem it not entirely sufficient and add
to it works or not accept all of it and cling to shame?
Joy is never a solitary affair. You have joy IN something. You have
joy WITH someone.
I believe Jesus' joy in heading to and enduring the cross was knowing
that He was reconciling sinners who could not save themselves to a
holy God who loves them. His joy was knowing that His death would
allow us, through His righteousness to know and enjoy God forever.
His joy was being the end and means of God's plan and purpose for
mankind; proving God faithful, loving, and sovereign so that in our
own lives we could fix our eyes on Jesus and not grow weary and lose
Happy Good Friday from Mongolia.