[PC-USA] 1998-04-10 - Our Good Fridays

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The sky was dark. Their Lord and Friend was physically dead. To those who didn't understand, this was "the end."

(Luke 23:44-48 NASB) "And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 the sun being obscured. And the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." And having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent." 48 And all the multitudes who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts.

Their hope was gone.

(Luke 24:17-21 NASB) And He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad. 18 And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, "Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?" 19 And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened."

But God had other things in mind, as is evidenced by what an angel said to the two Marys

(Mark 16:6 NASB) And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him."

God took the darkest day of history, Good Friday, and gave us Resurrection Day. Are you facing a "Good Friday" in your life? God can take it and make a "Resurrection Day" for you. As we know from Romans 8:28, He can use anything for His glory and our good. We know it intellectually, but often we don't take it to heart.

Do you feel hopeless about something? With God there is always hope. If only Judas Iscariot had truly understood. He missed the whole point, didn't he? Feeling overwhelmed by his guilt, he hung himself. (Matthew 27:4-6). Had he understood the point of the Cross, he could have received Christ's forgiveness, and what a testimony he would have had! God have used him powerfully. He could have been another Apostle Paul.

Sometimes what seems tragic at the time, turns out to be the proverbial "blessing in disguise." Time after time I have heard fellow Christians say that they are, as Corrie Ten Boom put it, "thankful for fleas." If her prison cell had not been infested with fleas, her Bible would have been confiscated.

I'm sure you know of Christians who now say they are now grateful for health or financial problems which brought them closer to God. I am not minimizing at all, the deep pain that is felt, but God has used painful circumstances such as cancer to draw families closer. He has used tornadoes to draw people back to Himself. He has used church burnings to bring different races together to build back the churches.

If you are facing a painful or seemingly hopeless situation, ask God to take it and use it for your good and His glory. I can guarantee that you can be thankful one day for even the most painful situations.

Dear Lord, help us to trust You bring something beautiful out of even the hardest circumstances, and to give you glory for it. In Jesus' name, amen.

[email jan] Janice P. Moser

All scripture references are from the NASB unless otherwise noted.

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