Grace Friday

Today is a day I hold very dear to my heart. Today is Good Friday. Did you ever wonder why it is named “Good” Friday? Think about it. We often say, “That was a good dinner.” We say, “Good morning,” even to passersby on the street. Let’s face it, the word “good” is used so frequently that it has nearly lost its credibility as an adjective. So maybe we should rename this special day and call it Great Friday. That would give it more significance, right? When you really stop to think about it, though, the name most befitting of this important day on the calendar would be Grace Friday.

In reality, it matters not what we call this particular day. What matters is whether we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ gave his life for you and me. He was not seeking fame or fortune. He was not trying to do a good deed or striving to be great. He died on the cross to cleanse our sins, to grant us eternal life, and to shower us with love and mercy we do not even deserve. Romans 5:8 (ESV) says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” As a song I wrote a few years ago says, Jesus gave his life for love. (I invite you to visit for a free download of my song.)

Perhaps you look at the calendar and wonder what Easter is really all about. Deep within your heart, do you feel as if there must be something more, beyond the chocolate bunnies and plastic eggs? If you are searching for answers, look no further. Jesus Christ is the answer you seek. John 3:16 (NIV) says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The King of kings and Lord of lords gave his life as a ransom for every man, woman, boy, and girl on this planet. That includes you. Why? Because of love.

Jesus could have called ten thousand angels to save him from the cross. He did not have to endure the pain and agony. He could have told his Father, “I can’t do it. I have had enough.” Instead, he stayed there on the cross, because he knew that you and I needed a Savior. He knew that we would have no lasting hope on our own. Jesus wanted to give us the most heartfelt and important gift given in the history of humanity: eternal love and everlasting life.

You may be thinking, why would a King do this for me? I have failed so many times. The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Not one of us is without blemish. We have all made mistakes. Still, his love for us is never-ending. Jesus shed his blood to forgive our sins. He bore all of the earth’s diseases to heal our sicknesses. On top of all of that, he granted us eternal life in Heaven with him, for everyone who has a personal relationship with him.

This weekend, I encourage you to cherish the time you have with family and friends. Enjoy the delicious dinners and sweet bunny-shaped treats. Above all, remember the reason for Easter, or as I prefer to call it, Resurrection Day. This special day is not about bunnies and baskets. It is a day to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Jesus Christ gave his life for love (I John 3:16). On Good Friday, Jesus died. On the third day, he rose again. Now he is sitting at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf. He bestows upon us unconditional love, even though we are undeserving. God’s Word says, “All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). No matter who you are or what you have done, the redeeming love of Jesus is free to everyone who believes.

Whether you call Good Friday, good or great, remember that Easter is really all about grace.

In Christ's Love,

Have you ever wondered why Jesus Christ rode into town on a donkey? There was no champion thoroughbred or luxurious chariot. The King of Kings entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey just for you and me. He did it to carry out His Father’s plan that included a difficult journey from the cross to the grave. This journey of love began with a triumphant entry and transformed into a sorrowful crucifixion. Think about how Jesus must have felt, riding a donkey, knowing all the while that He would be crucified by the very people His Father created. One day, they were waving palm branches as He rode into town. A few days later, they would be waving their fists, shouting, “Crucify Him!” And it all started on a donkey.

I wonder if Jesus ever questioned, “A donkey?” Surely there must have been the slightest bit of hesitation when the Savior of the world was being asked to ride into town on a borrowed donkey. While Jesus may have never questioned this minor detail, I am sure most people would have had something to say about that. There are times in my life when I wonder why God gives me a donkey, so to speak, when I have requested a faster and more comfortable mode of transportation. Sometimes, God does not hand us exactly what we want on a silver platter. Instead, He gives us exactly what we need. Rather than giving us everything we want, like a spoiled child, He wants us to trust Him to provide what we need when we need it. That's what Jesus did. He trusted His Father completely, even to the point of death.

Jesus knew God would only ask Him to do what He could realistically accomplish. He remained steadfast in His love for His Father, fulfilling His Father’s plan. Even unto death, Jesus carried out the will of God. Jesus knew that He was the only Perfect Sacrifice. He knew a world without His crucifixion meant that all would be lost. Romans 3:23 (NIV) says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Jesus knew we needed a Savior, so He suffered and died on our behalf. As the beloved song says, “He could have called ten thousand angels, but He did it all for you and me.” If Jesus had not trusted His Father, our sins could never be erased and there would be no means of getting into Heaven. If He had not given His life for us, the end of our life on this earth would literally be just that - the end.

Thanks to God’s amazing love for us, and the love His Son Jesus has for us, we have hope for eternity. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will live forever. John 3:16 (ESV) says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus doesn’t want us to live without hope. He doesn’t want us to see death as the ill-awaited doomsday of our life. Instead, He wants us to cherish the time we have on this earth, all the while, joyfully awaiting the moment we walk through Heaven’s gates.

Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. If you believe this to be true, you do not have to fear the future. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). If you confess your sins and believe Jesus Christ is Lord, you will not die, but live forever. I Thessalonians (NIV) says, “He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.” Jesus wants to walk beside you on this earth, and when your earthly life is over, He wants you to live with Him in Heaven. If you have asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life, your life will be filled with hope. You have the hope of eternity with Jesus.

The next time you see a donkey, think about the animal that carried the King of kings upon its back. And the next time you wonder why God chose a donkey, take a closer look at the donkey’s back. I know God, the Creator of this hard-working creature, must have gave extra attention to creating the intricate design upon its back: a cross. Since the beginning of time, God knew His only Son would ride upon a donkey before His journey to Calvary’s cross. He knew His only Son would die for every man, woman, boy, and girl. He knew some people would love Him, and He knew others would reject Him. He knew the name of Jesus would be praised and adored, and other times, this holy name would be criticized and mocked. Yet, He did it all, just for you and me. Jesus Christ loves you unconditionally. Will you love Him in return?

In Christ’s Love,