Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
The day after Thanksgiving: Better known today as Black Friday across the country. The day when the Thanksgiving sales are ripe and the crowds around town are downright overbearing! The term Black Friday was derived in Philadelphia and was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicular traffic that would occur the day after Thanksgiving due to all the crazy sales. If you have ever been a part of any Black Friday shopping experience (especially here in Clarksville), you understand this reality. You cash in on some of the good deals out there, but you also experience the craziness that come with the day, thus making it a black friday.
There was a Friday that was much, much darker than that crazy day after Thanksgiving shopping day. Good Friday perhaps was the darkest day in the history of mankind, both physically (v.33-34), and spiritually. Good Friday was the day that True Love died. Good Friday was the day that Jesus Christ, the Son of God died on the cross. This day was truly Black Friday. The Jews believed that Jesus Christ was going to be the One who freed them from the tyranny of the Roman Empire. The disciples followed Him for three whole years, saw Him do miracles, heard His preaching about being the Son of God, and yet here He was hanging on a tree, forsaken by His Father in Heaven.
Though “Black Friday” was the darkest day in history, the day for mankind was beautiful! Jesus Christ had died, but that was not going to be the end of the story. If you flip one page over in your bible, it says that on the third day He rose from the dead! Hallelujah! In His death, He absorbed the wrath of God which was due to us because of our sin. God’s wrath was poured out on Him at the Cross. Because of His death, we know have direct access to God in prayer. The curtain (veil) that is discussed in vs. 38 signifies the divide between man and God. When Jesus died, the curtain tore in two, symbolizing the end of the divide. The sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient for the sins of mankind forever, and now mankind has direct access to God again! Child of God, that means we can call on His name in prayer at any moment. We don’t have to go to a temple and have a priest sacrifice a goat for us to do that. We can call on His name in prayer at any time and commune with God! Listen, He did all of this for His creation because He loves us.
Because of “Black Friday” we have a reason to worship. Because of “Black Friday” we have a relationship with our Creator. Because of “Black Friday” we are able to commune with the Father, as we have direct access to Him. I encourage you today in the midst of your shopping and sales, to spend some time reflecting on the Savior’s love for you and I. For the darkest day in history took place so that you and I could have life.
SONG OF WORSHIP FOR TODAY: I Stand Amazed- Chris Tomlin
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the Cross! Thank you for “Black Friday”. May I never take for granted the day that True Love died so that I could have life. In the midst of the busyness of today, help me to reflect and rest in your love today. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.