On Friday night, April 6th at 7:00 PM, many followers of Jesus will gather at Willamette Christian Church to remember the sacrifice of His life, the perfect Man who was crucified in our place. As we did last year and the year before, we will meditate on the cross of Jesus, the one God-in-a-bod, who came to live and then die in our place. Preaching a brief meditation on that night remains one of the highlights of the year for me. You are welcome to join us.
Before we get to the joy of Easter Sunday, we linger in the pain of Good Friday.
There on the cross Jesus proves God’s love, the sacrifice He is willing to give to rescue rebellious people who have all turned away. As the essence of sin is our substituting ourselves for God, the essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for us.
In Jesus God is righting all the wrongs done to us, and the wrongs we have done to others. Oh how wonderful it is to respond to the Creator God who does not stand aloof, who refuses to give us merely a philosophical answer to our suffering and the problem of all this horrific evil in the world. Jesus dove right into the deepest suffering, the worst evil. As He entered the fray, endured the pain, and defeated all His enemies (and ours) to rescue us, there was a pure joy set before Him (Hebrews 12:1-3).
- Jesus in the Garden, then arrested (Matthew 26:36-50)
- Enduring Trials (Mark 14:53-65; 15:1-15)
- Jesus on the Cross (Matthew 27:32-56)
In the Garden of Gethsemane we hear Jesus crying to the Father — to let this cup of wrath pass from Him — then resolving to align Their wills as one. “Nevertheless, let Your will be done.” As we see Jesus endure a the betrayal of close friends, arrested at night, then accused, beaten, mocked, scorned, and jeered, each step to the cross confirms God’s plan. Jesus is answering His own prayer. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.