I don’t know about you, but I don’t think about death very often. As a guy who is 32 yrs old, I tend to think I have a lot of time left here on earth. Every year as a church we observe Good Friday. The purpose is to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus. To remember that he, Jesus, died for our sin. All good things. The cross is the epicenter of the Christian faith. The moment in God’s story where he put all the sin of humanity on his Son Jesus so that we can know him. Again, all good things. So why doesn’t that move us emotionally often enough? I think it's because we know that he was God. Here is what plays out in my head: “Oh ya, that wasn’t hard for Jesus to know that death was coming at the end of the week because he was God and therefore somehow removed from emotional stress, anxiety or sadness knowing what was coming.” But what if death wasn’t easy for Jesus? The Bible describes death as "separation from God.” In other words, death is everything that is the opposite of God himself.
Up to this point, before going to the cross, Jesus had never experienced death. He was with God in heaven. And even on earth He was without sin; no sin equals no death. And he, just like us, didn’t want to experience death. (Matt. 26:39) But he did, for you and for me. He took on anger, sadness, rage, hate, loneliness, selfishness, pride, greed, adultery, addiction, dishonesty, abuse, lying, gossiping, slandering, backbiting, spreading rumors, deceit, extortion, railing, slander, defrauding, breaking promises, craftiness, hypocrisy, dishonesty, whisperers, idle words, withhold all of the truth, being double-tongued, bragging, boasting, flattery, exaggerating the truth, whining, speaking evil of others, coveting, envy, lust, jealousy, drunkenness, sorcery, materialism, wantonness, sensuality, gambling, revelings, attachment to riches or material goods, emulations, extortion, desire for money, desire for power, desire for sex (relating to sexual immorality), anger at other’s good fortunes, desiring things of others, flirting or playing with temptation…just to name a few things. But we know that the story doesn’t end with death. Jesus defeated death. And now, we who believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus are raised from death/separation and can now experience Life. Or in other words, everything God. (Galatians 5:22-23). Pretty moving.
This Friday, at 5:30pm and 7:00pm, I want to invite you to join me as we spend time rejecting on what Jesus went through as a human being during his last week on earth. Families are welcome to come together, and we will have childcare for children 3 and under.