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Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday: Three Words That Changed the WorldPosted Thursday, April 21, 2011, at 4:57 PM
Nineteen hundred and Seventy-Eight years ago, on a Friday, three crosses stood on Golgotha (Mt.Calvary), "the place of the skull". On the middle cross hung the Son of God, the Son of Man. Above His head were the words, "King of the Jews".
"He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:2-5
The crowd had urged Pilate to crucify Him, and he had ordered the soldiers to do it. His hands and His feet were nailed to that old rugged cross. On Him lay our sins, prejudices, hurts, pain, and sickness, and even the nature of sin, handed down to us from Adam. Blood was everywhere; the blood He shed for you and I.
Three of the Gospel writers record our Lord's sayings on that cross, but the greatest words of all are recorded only by John, in his Gospel 19:30. "He said, 'IT IS FINISHED: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost'."
Those three words, IT IS FINISHED, changed the course of humankind. After He uttered those words, it is recorded in the Gospels that there was an earthquake, the sun was darkened, and the rocks broke open. But a greater thing happened: the veil of the temple, dividing the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was "rent in twain from the top to the bottom
IT IS FINISHED means the atonement had been made. Jesus had finished the sacrifice of Himself to make atonement for all of humankind. Now access WAS made to the throne of heaven.
IT IS FINISHED means we now can be forgiven of all our sins. Acts 5:31 Ephesians 1:7 Colossians 1:14
IT IS FINISHED means we are adopted into the family of God. Romans 8:15
IT IS FINISHED means we may be sanctified. Hebrews 13:12
IT IS FINISHED means we may "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
Jesus finished the plan of salvation for you and I. IT IS FINISHED changed the course of humankind! He shed His blood for you and I!
On the first day of the same week on which He was crucified, which would be our Sunday, Jesus had lain in a borrowed tomb. But He could not stay in that grave. He had promised that after three days, He would rise again. His disciples didn't understand until that Resurrection Sunday.
Both Matthew and Mark record the second three words that changed the course of humankind.
Matthew says, "as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.3His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:4And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6He is not here: for HE IS RISEN, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.7And go quickly, and tell his disciples that HE IS RISEN from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you." Matthew 28:1-7
Mark says, "1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.2And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.3And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?4And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.5And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: HE IS RISEN; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him." Mark 16:1-6
Luke 24:6 says, "He is not here, but is risen:" John doesnot give the words spoken to Mary. But all four stories are complimentary. The stone had been rolled back from the door of the tomb. The grave clothes were folded neatly and lay on a shelf. Two angels were at the tomb, one of them inside. Of course, the greatest part of the story is HE IS RISEN!
At the resurrection of Jesus, the graves of many of the Old Testament saints were opened, and their resurrected bodies appeared to many before the resurrected Christ ascended into heaven. Matthew 27:52,53
Because HE IS RISEN, the course of human events were forever changed.
Because HE IS RISEN, Jesus triumphed over death, hell, and the grave.
Because HE IS RISEN, He could ascend back to the Father, and He did just that 40 days later.
Because HE IS RISEN, we have another comforter, the blessed Holy Ghost, whom Jesus promised His followers if they would tarry.
Because HE IS RISEN, we have an intercessor. Romans 8:34
Because HE IS RISEN, we have the hope of a future resurrection. ICorinthians 15:12-27,51-57 IThessalonians 4:13-17
Because HE IS RISEN, Christian congregations everywhere celebrate Resurrection Sunday with many different kinds of Easter programs. Notice those yard signs with "The Risen Church" on them? It's a joint program put on by the General Baptist Churches. Christians are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ by worshipping the Resurrected Christ!
Because HE IS RISEN, Sunday has been designated the Lord's Day by most Christians, a day set aside to worship Christ. Acts 20:7 ICorinthians 16:2
All that being said, have a very Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, not forgetting what the celebrating is all about!
Richard D. Swift
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My wife Susan (Sue) and I have lived in Soddard County since September of '96. We both graduated from Bible Missionary Institute, our denomination's small four year Bible college in Rock Island, Illinois. I was born and raised in Pomona, California while my wife was raised in Monmouth, Illinois. I am an ordained minister in the Bible Missionary Church. We attend and are members of the Dexter Bible Missionary Church. I've been employed by Tyson Foods for 14 years. My wife is a CNA. I've always been conservative in my political views and have always been active in politics and the Pro-Life movement. My politics have not always been Republican. From 2003-2009 I was vice-chairman of the Prohibition National Committee, the steering arm of the Prohibition Party. In '09, I joined the Constitution Party of Missouri. But, I've been attending the GOP rallys and club meetings since last year and have been campaigning for certain Republican candidates since we moved to this area. I'm on the SEMO Life Chain Committee.