Blog,  Devotional

The Night Before Good Friday

When I was in Israel years ago the spot that resonated the most with me was the Garden of Gethsemane. I could almost see Jesus bent over in prayer, the night Judas turned Jesus over to the chief priests. Thursday, the night before what we call Good Friday. The night before Christ’s death.

When He arrived at the place [called Gethsemane], He said to them, “Pray continually that you may not fall into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of divine wrath] from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.” Now an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 

Luke 22:40-43 AMPLIFIED

He knew he would be tortured, mocked, ridiculed, crucified. Unlike us, since we are human, He saw everything before it happened to Him.

He knew the cost. But He also knew the prize.

But [in fact] He has borne our griefs,
And He has carried our sorrows and pains;
Yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken,
Struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him].
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing];
The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him,
And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed.

Isaiah 53:4,5 Amplified

Our freedom. Our healing. Our forgiveness.

Why?

Love.

“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His[One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced], because [bhe has not believed and trusted in the name of the [One and] only begotten Son of God[the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, the One who alone can save him]. 

John 3:16-18 Amplified

Today is Good Friday, and I hadn’t planned on writing a post. So I believe this is for someone. Someone who doesn’t know Jesus yet, or has walked away from Him. Someone who wants desperately to be forgiven but you don’t know if God will accept you.

He will. There’s nothing you’ve done that is too big for Jesus’ to forgive.

In the Garden, when Judas came to betray Jesus, Peter took matters into his own hands and cut the ear off of one of the priest’s servants.

Jesus could have turned to all His disciples then and said, “Yeah! Have at it, get that one too!”

Instead, He healed the servant and reminded the disciples that this had to happen in order for earlier prophecy in scripture to be fulfilled (see Luke 22 and Matthew 26).

Jesus’ life wasn’t taken. It was given.

And three days later, He rose again. Today we remember His death, but it’s not a sorrowful day, even though it does seem gloomy every Good Friday. Have you noticed that? Is it gloomy where you are? The skies here are grey as though they remember that day more than 2000 years ago.

As we remember His death we also celebrate His victory.

He conquered the grave. He died so we can truly live

So Jesus said again, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I am the Door for the sheep [leading to life]. All who came before Me [as false messiahs and self-appointed leaders] are thieves and robbers, but the [true] sheep did not hear them. I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His [own] life for the sheep. 

John 10:7-11 AMPLIFIED


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