Living in Sad Saturday

Traditionally, the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday has been called Holy Saturday. It is considered by many to be a day of reflection on the completed work of Jesus at the cross.

The gospels tell us that the day after Jesus died was the Sabbath day. This, of course, was the Jewish day of rest. It also explains why Jesus’ body was removed so quickly from the cross. For the Jew, it was a defilement for a dead body to remain exposed for long periods. This is why Joseph of Arimathea rushed so quickly to retrieve and bury the body of Jesus before the Sabbath began at Sundown. Pilate, being obliged to keep the peace with the Jews, granted the request.

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The Reminders of the Cross

This Good Friday, the cross of Jesus reminds us…

That God was not content to leave us dead in our trespasses and sin. (Romans 5:6-8)

That true love goes deeper than mere words. (John 3:16)

That our sin really is much more gruesome and costly than we thought. (Hebrews 9:28)

That sin requires sacrifice and Jesus paid the full price in His own body. (Isaiah 53, 2 Peter 2:24, Hebrews 9:22)

That the devil was humiliated and his power of condemnation forever broken. (Colossians 2:15, Genesis 3:15)

That God’s prophetic plan of salvation has been completed (Psalm 22, Isaiah 53)

That the righteous requirements of the law have been fulfilled on our behalf and no longer condemn us. (Colossians 2:14, Galatians 2:21)

That we have been made innocent before God and freed from the power and penalty of sin. (Romans 5:9, Ephesians 1:7)

That we have been brought near to God. (Ephesians 2:13, 1 Peter 3:18)

That eternal life personally belongs to us. (Hebrews 9:12, John 3:16)

That we now have righteousness on our account that is perfect and not our own. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

That we are delivered from the wickedness of this age. (Galatians 1:4)

That we are forgiven and purified from every lawless deed. (Titus 2:14)

That our guilty consciences have been cleansed. (Hebrews 9:14)

That the sacrifice of Jesus was a willing act of love and obedience. (Philippians 2:8)

That Jesus was not an unwilling victim, but that He was God willingly laying down His life. (John 10:18, 2 Corinthians 5:19)

That God’s salvation is complete and irreversible. (John 19:30)

That we will never have to personally pay the penalty of our own sin. (Romans 6:23)

That we have passed from death to life, darkness to light, and from judgment to forgiveness. (John 5:24, Acts 26:18)

That sin no longer defines our identity. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

That we are no longer considered enemies of God. (Romans 5:10)

That Jesus is only and forever worthy of all authority. (Revelation 5:9)

That sometimes we must embrace suffering to find glory. (1 Peter 2:21, Philippians 3:10)

That Christ was crucified for me so that I might live a selfless life that is crucified with Him. (Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:14)

Can we add or contribute any effort to this great work of salvation? The answer is no. Why? In the words of Jesus, “It is finished!”

As you meditate on the cross and worship the Savior, soak in the words of this incredible song.

Good Friday and Unity

This Good Friday was a victory for the Kingdom of God and the church in Auburn, California. As Christians we often speak about the cross being the unifying factor among believers, but it is infrequent to actually see that truth physically manifested. This is what made Friday night so beautiful!

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The Cross, God, and Me (Good Friday)

Colossians 1:19-22 – For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight–

As Good Friday approaches, we once again reflect and meditate on the cross where Jesus gave His life for us. When you stand before the cross, I believe that it is only right to feel a level of conflict in your soul. You see, the cross presents to us a dichotomy of tragedy and triumph, despair and hope, suffering and salvation, and judgment and redemption. I would like to suggest that we should never try to resolve the conflicting emotions we feel when we gaze upon the cross. I believe the tensions exist to bring about a balanced maturity in us as believers.

“…the cross presents to us a dichotomy of tragedy and triumph, despair and hope, suffering and salvation, and judgment and redemption.”

When I look upon the cross I am horrified that God had to go to such great lengths to rescue me. It reminds me that even on my best day, apart from God, I still deserved only death. The cross is an immovable portrait which declares that it was my insatiable sin, done as an enemy of God, that drove the Son of God to suffer. It makes me sick to realize that my foolishness and rebellion had a part to play in the innocent Savior’s unthinkable torment as he endured the cross and absorbed the wrath of God that belonged to me.

Yet, in the exact same moment of my horror, I find a rush of inexpressible joy stemming from the amount of love that is displayed in the sacrificial act of Jesus. The cross declares that humanity is so loved and valued by God, that He would stop at nothing in order to make a way possible for us to be restored into fellowship with Him. We aren’t intrinsically valuable, but God chose to value us nonetheless. I can’t help but be very happy about this! The cross doesn’t only declare, “God hates your sin”, it declares, “The depth God’s love toward you is unfathomable!”What rest, comfort, peace, and strength I find when I consider that the cross has made me innocent before a holy God, imparted righteousness to me that I could have never earned, and secured all promises of God toward me by grace!

When I look at the cross I cringe, then I smile. I weep, then I laugh. I tremble, then I become secure. I hang my head in shame, then I raise it up again with unshakable confidence. I hope that I never loose the ability to tread on both sides of that scale. I don’t ever want the cross to be a place that keeps me in a state of perpetual condemnation, for that is not the heart of God’s grace. Neither do I want to see the cross without considering the fact that the cross wouldn’t have been necessary if not for my sin. When I look at the cross, I always want to feel the weight of judgment as well as the gift of grace. I want to remember God’s wrath as well as His mercy. I want to embrace conviction as well as stand in confidence.

This year, let the cross of Jesus speak for what it is, and may you, with open heart, wholeheartedly receive its message.

John 3:16 – “…For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in His will not perish by have everlasting life.”