I remember as a kid, reading the comic strip, B.C. in the local newspaper, where I grew up. On a particular Good Friday, a couple of pre-historic “cavemen” were having a discussion. One said to the other, “I hate the term, ‘Good Friday.’” The other asked, “Why?” The first said, “My Lord was hanged on a tree that day.” His friend said, “If you were going to be hanged on that day and He volunteered to take your place, how would you feel?” The first character answered, “Good.” Walking away, the other said, “Have a nice day.” (B.C.by Johnny Hart; ilxor.com).
We celebrate Good Friday because it is the day we honor the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on our behalf, through His death on the Cross, to satisfy the wrath of God against sin. Jesus did more than simply make a way for us to go to Heaven someday, He paid the price for sin and its effects, including our peace of mind, healing for our bodies, restoration for our families, and provision for our lives.
A passage of Scripture which holds a special place in my heart is this, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, NKJV). Why so significant? Because, not only is it central to the Gospel message, which means Good News, but once long ago, I took a firm stand of faith and saw the power of the Gospel break an addiction to tobacco in a single moment of time. It was certainly Good News to me!
I was in my 20’s and had used tobacco since the age of 13. I had recently committed my life to Christ and had sensed the call to ministry and knew firmly that I needed to put this addiction behind me. Lacking the strength to do so, I called a beloved aunt; a powerful evangelist with strong faith and confessed my situation to her. In a time of prayer together, we read the above passage and prayed for the addiction to be broken and it was, immediately! I no longer needed or desired it.
That’s what communion is all about; Jesus’ broken body in exchange for our wholeness and His shed blood as a covenant promise of our freedom, if we will receive it by faith. God knows that life today is difficult, filled with more challenges than at perhaps any time in history. People are more stressed out than ever, it seems. And yet, He wants you to have peace right now. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NKJV.)
Jesus doesn’t want you carrying around shame and condemnation for your failures – He already carried them for you. This Friday, I encourage you to think about what Jesus has done and receive His precious gift, personally and powerfully.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV.)
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.