Day 13: Friday, Good? #28DayChallenge

Good Friday. Was it really good? Definitely not for Jesus or his followers, whose long-awaited Messiah was crucified by the authorities. A little search on the internet suggested that the origin of the word “Good” is an old English word which means “Holy”. If this is correct, then it would be more appropriate to think of the day as “holy” or “hallowed” rather than “good”, which has a completely different meaning in modern English. I also learnt that some other languages utilize a more suitable expression for that day, such as the German expression “Karfreitag“, meaning “Sorrowful Friday“.

In the end, though, the day turned out to be good from the Christian viewpoint, but only in hindsight. Knowing that Jesus’ death atoned for our sins and that he eventually resurrected a few days after complements the sobriety of the Holy Friday with the joy of Easter Sunday. The beatings he took secure our healing and his shame open heaven’s door of mercy to us. However, it was not all joy on that first Easter Sunday, seeing as the disciples were confused and distressed at the disappearance of Jesus’ body from the grave. Only Jesus’ eventual appearance allayed their concerns and revived their hope.

Yet the news was not even sufficient to bring hope to the doubting Thomas, who happened to be unavailable at Jesus’ first appearance to his other disciples. He had to see for himself to truly believe. And so, Jesus declares that those who believe his resurrection without seeing Him are blessed. He knew only a few persons would see him before He ascended to heaven, and so the testimony of His witnesses and the faith of future hearers would be equally important.

The onus then lies on us who have believed to share this wonderful news with everyone who would listen- the blessings that the horrors of pain and death Jesus endured confer on us, and the living hope that his resurrection and ascension to heaven provide for us. Because Jesus lives, we too can live – not just in our natural state, but in a renewed, transformed state of heart. Spreading this good news would be appropriate seeing as we have embraced the use of “Good Friday” and even get an official holiday to mark the day.

If you are reading this and have not embraced the good news about Jesus, what are you waiting for? He died for you and me, so we would no longer live in our sins, but receive forgiveness from our sins and have access to God our Maker. Turn from your sins and call on Him right away! And if you do, you can be sure that you will be saved; He never turns anyone away. This is where I take a pause today – we continue this blogging journey tomorrow. Stay blessed!

Day 8: Triumphant Entry #28DayChallenge

Today is Day 8 of my 28-day blogging challenge, and it’s Palm Sunday. Happy Palm Sunday! It’s a beautiful day to be alive as we celebrate the Triumphant Entry in 2022. There are few days in history that hold a lasting significance as does this special day, celebrated by Christians all over the world. It represents the arrival of Israel’s long-awaited king, riding victoriously into the ancient city of Jerusalem with celebrations and shouts calling for him to save His people. He was fulfilling prophecy as he rode into Jerusalem, and also asserting his rightful place as the eternal king over Israel, and indeed the whole world.

It was a beautiful moment as people laid down their clothes for his colt to ride over and bowed in obeisance to Him – a fitting climax for the king and Savior who never got a proper welcome into the world by the people he came to save, having been born in the most humble of circumstances. It was definitely the peak of His popularity among the people, because barely four days later, he was being subjected to shouts of “Crucify Him” as the same people turned against their king at the instigation of the religious leaders of the day.

People are fickle, and forgetful. If you make your plans on the basis of people’s promises of loyalty, especially a large mass of people, you are the most foolish of men. Jesus recognized this, and was never moved by the praise or criticism of people. He always stayed focused on doing God’s will, and his actions were only initiated on the strength of divine guidance. So whether he was multiplying bread or chastising traders at the temple, he was never moved by people’s opinion – only by God’s voice and a genuine compassion for people.

So passionate was Jesus for His people, that he wept over the city of Jerusalem shortly after riding victoriously into it (Luke 19:41), because they did not know the things that would bring them peace. He would go on to lay down his life, being led to the cross as a willing lamb for crucifixion, and becoming the “Lamb of God” who “takes away the sins of the world”. The big picture was not lost on him, neither were the immediate consequences of obeying God. The suffering, pain, wounds and horror of separation from God. But He focused on the joy ahead, providing a template for us in our time of sacrifices.

Jesus’ triumphant entry was a big statement to the people of His day and of every day, that He is the true king who would one day reign over the whole earth, having conquered evil in the world. But until that day comes, we are to rejoice in and take advantage of the spiritual victory He procured for us through His death and resurrection. We who believe in Him are seated with Him far above all powers in this world. We are overcomers like our King! The only question is: do you believe in Jesus?

I’ll take a pause here and pick this up tomorrow….as I continue my blogging journey. Have a blessed week!