Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good Friday: an infinite understatement.

The English are considered the world's masters of understatement. Here's one: calling the day of Jesus' crucifiction "Good" is rather like calling the end of the wordl "a problem". To those of us who believe, who accept and are convinced of Biblical teaching, it is the critical moment when the process of our salvation was put into effect. Jesus became THE ULTIMATE Sacrificial Lamb, to take away all our sins and culpability. People sometimes try to put the Christian Gospel into modern language. Perhaps this is one way: we get to swap rap sheets with Jesus. To get into the Kingdom of Heaven, to avoid permanent banishment to Hell,we have to be perfect in our record of conduct. No human being is -except the human identity that was Jesus when He was on Earth. So to get us into the Kingdom, He allows each of us who believes in Him as our Saviour to present a copy of His record, which is without wrong-doing, and to be admitted to God's Kingdom. He takes ours, and takes the penalty for them. He suffered the utter horrors of physical crucifiction. Medical opinion has it that no form of death could be more agonizing. And then He went down to Hell. Satan must have been all over the place with glee. Then a problem arose. Because Jesus was without crime or wrong doing, Hell could not keep Him in. He broke out of it and rose to His rightful place in the Kingdom. Utter defeat for the Devil and serves it right. Utter triumph for the Lord God and well deserved. And we the believers get to go along with Him to Heaven. Praise the Lord. I do not really fully get the impact of that or I would be too speechless to write this blog.
It is interesting to read some of the other things recorded as happening. One of the Gospels, Matthew, recounts this, when Jesus died gave up His spirit and died:
"At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke opne and the boides of many holy people were raised to life. They come out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people." (NIV)
It must have been awesome and terrifying. And it is rarely covered by any of the film dramatizations made about Jesus' life. If any one had some doubt about what was going on, they must have known nothing at all.

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