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Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Top o' the mornin' to yas, me lovies.  As you may or may not know, today is what is known as Good Friday throughout Christendom.  If you don't know what that is or where it came from, well, you shan't have to wait any longer - here comes a quick tutorial.

Although Good Friday is a Christian holiday, it's actual roots stem out of Judiasm.  Moses, one of the patriarchs of Judiasm, was set apart by God (YHWH or Yahweh - but the name of the Lord God is so sacred that within Judiasm, it is too holy to write it, so it is usually written as G-d or YHWH - the "I Am") and was told face to face some things about how God wanted people to live.  God gave Moses the Law - both the 10 Commandments (have you heard of them?  Those are the ones like - you shall have no other gods before me, you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, honor your father and mother, don't lie, steal, covet, have an affair, murder, etc.) as well as the laws for what the priests (the Levites - men from the tribe of Levi) should do and what should be done if someone messes up and breaks one of God's laws.

The way that God instructed them to "fix" it was based on what He deemed as an appropriate and acceptable offering.  Because offending and breaking God's law was so serious, (and is - present tense) the only way to cover over these breaches in the law was to have life poured out in the form of blood.  Many people recoil at the thought of blood, but it is suggested that the beastliness of shedding blood (this is animal blood, by the way) is only seen as such from the point of view of a person because we are so commonly involved in sin (or the breaking of God's law) that we do not have a proper perspective of the actual atrocity and horror of the nature of sin.  So, back in the day, animal sacrifices were constantly being made because people mess up and break God's law pretty much every other second.  Or more.  Sometimes the sacrifices would be bulls, sometimes birds, sometimes lambs and other animals.

Now fast forward to the year 1 A.D.  All of this is still going on throughout Judiasm.  Now within Judiasm, God had promised someone to come and rescue them.  There were many signs that would point to knowing that such a person would be the right person.   This person was God's son, Jesus.  God had a plan.  All those animal sacrifices were bandaids - they only covered over the problems, but God was about to send a true fix: a perfect sacrifice.  Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem and his daddy was God himself.  Jesus never broke one of God's laws - he was God - and lived a perfect life.  He grew up and when he was about 30, he began telling people more and more about God and what He wanted.  He healed people of sickness and disease and for a few - even death itself.  He was showing that he had authority over the constraints of this physical world: illness and even death.  

Well, after about 3 years of this, the leaders of the day decided they had had it.  They heard that this dude was calling himself God's son - basically the equivalent to God himself - and that was the horrible sin of blasphemy.  The punishment for this was death.  Now in this time, the Roman empire was going strong and the Romans thought up some pretty sick and torturous ways of putting people to death.  They would kill people by nailing them to a T-shaped cross on their hands (at the wrist) and into their feet.  I won't go too much into the gruesome details, but basically the gist of it is that the person dies of suffocation via drowning in their lungs of blood.  They brought Jesus up to the leaders and asked him if he was the son of God.  He didn't deny it so they totally freaked out and brought him over to the governmental group of the day so that they could execute judgement (since they did not have authority to carry out putting people to death, only the government could).  So, they got the green light to kill him, even though he didn't do anything wrong ever once in his whole life.  They put him to death, but God had a plan.  This death was to be a once-and-for-all perfect sacrifice that would be able to be applied to the accounts of those who believed.  This is why faith is talked about so very much - because it is by faith that you receive this free gift of God.

The death of Jesus was to satisfy the wrath that God has against sin, the breaking of his law.  See, there's two ways to pay: you can pay it yourself for eternity or you can take the gift that has been freely bestowed to any who will take it - the sacrifice of God's son's blood on your behalf.

Now the story doesn't stop at his death.  God raised Jesus to life three days later showing he was yet again above the parameters of this physical life.  He hung around for 40ish days, testifying to what God had done.  His friends told everyone what happened.  After that time that Jesus was with them after he was raised back to life, he ascended to heaven in front of his friends.  Obviously, his friends were totally excited and were amazed at what God had done and told anyone and everyone the story.  

They wrote accounts of it and those very accounts can even be read today in what is known as "the gospels" (gospel means "good news" - you can see why they called it that, since it was the freedom from the wrath that was due to them).  The "gospels" are the books of the Bible named after their authors - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Read them if you want to know more and/or see for yourself.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that today, Good Friday, is the day that we remember that Jesus went to the Roman cross, willingly accepting what was laid before him by his Father in order to give glory to God and to make a way for those who would be able to accept his sacrifice.  Today is the day that we remember that Jesus died and what that means.

May you find peace today with God through his perfect sacrifice, Jesus.

Peace, love and I am thankful for it,
Ms. Daisy

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