by Rev. Dr. Daniel C. Wilburn
How rich is this day, Good Friday. “Good” because our King has paid the price for our sin. Our Passover has been sacrificed. For sin always costs. Because of this day sin doesn’t cost us.
How rich the day…
For HE who sits in the heavens laughs at the nations who believe they are in charge (Psalm 2)
For JESUS who hangs upon the gibbet of the cross and cries out in our deepest cry, “My GOD, My God why have you forgotten me?” G-d as human – such is the Father’s love. Death takes him.
For Christ is our High Priest, Christ is our Mediator of the new covenant. But he did not enter and make atonement with the blood bulls and goats. No, he atones with his own blood, the complete, effective, perfect sacrifice – g-d himself. Such love. (Hebrews 9)
How rich the day…
The soldier pierces his side and out comes water and blood.
We are a people marked by the water and blood… “Now the water was a symbol of baptism and the blood, of the holy Eucharist.” St. John Chrysostom. From these two – the water and the blood – the church is fashioned. The Church, the bride of Christ is betrothed upon this day, from Jesus’ side, like Eve taken from Adam’s side, his rib, “bone from my bones, flesh from my flesh!”
For the church was always g-d’s plan. Church: the forever fellowship with g-d. The church is not a temporary stage, meant to stay “our current situation” until Jesus returns. No, the church was from the beginning the ideal, the fellowship of g-d and humanity, our “chief end.” Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. (Westminster Shorter Catechism)
Our Lord has sacrificed for his bride, the church. We are loved by the water and blood. Therefore, we worship our Savior. But before we worship… death must be put into its proper place.
And there is one more thing…
there comes to each of us the conversation on the shore of the lake… “Do you love me?”