Why is This Day Called Good?

What is so good about this day?  This day we call Good Friday is when we remember the greatest injustice in all the history of the world.  A completely innocent man (who also happened to be the Son of God) was interrogated, mocked, spat upon, lied about, beaten, humiliated, and then tortured to death for apparently no good reason.

If we didn’t know better we would think this was a weak man who couldn’t defend himself. This innocent man, Jesus, was there when our universe was formed. He has no beginning and no end. Jesus said, No man taketh it (life) from  me, but I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again.  This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10:18). And that is exactly what He did.

So this most horrible day for Jesus became the best day for the rest of us.  Jesus took the wrath of God for the sin of the whole world on Himself that day. He bought us with His holy blood. He paid the sin debt and redeemed a selfish, sinful world of people so we could be united with Him for eternity. This love is SO hard for me to wrap my mind around.

Jesus left the splendor of heaven and presence of God to come to earth to bridge the gap between our sinful brokenness and separation from God. He has done all the work.  He has done every possible thing.  All He asks is for us to repent of our sin, believe in Him and His work on the cross, and ask Him to take residence in our hearts. I can attest to the peace and joy that follows that act of faith!

As I think of Jesus’ suffering, I’m amazed at how He endured all that suffering and separation from God and didn’t yell, Enough! I don’t deserve this! I’m done! He could have easily called for the angels to release Him or walked away on His own. I know His love kept Him on the cross, but there was also another motivation.

This example is not anywhere close to what Jesus went through, but the most pain I’ve been in is when I gave birth to my children.  I chose not to have pain medicine and there was a few times I caved and said, Okay! Give me something! But the baby was ready to be born and there wasn’t time. Anyway, as I lay there writhing in pain, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about how much I loved my husband or the baby, although I did love them both very much.  I looked into the near future and thought about the joy of holding that precious new life. That thought helped me plow through the pain.

Jesus looked into the future and saw joy! Hebrews 12:2 says, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. He was thinking about the joy!

Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:10) He has made a way for us to have abundant, joy- filled lives, full of faith and hope not only because of what He did on that cross on Good Friday, but because of the resurrection afterwards. He has taken the sting out of death and the grave for us as believers.

“Whenever you feel tempted to ask God, ‘Why did you do this to me?’ look at the cross and ask, Why did you do that for me?”  (Randy Alcorn in 90 Days to God’s Goodness)

So if you are going through a tough time now, look into God’s Word and claim His promises of peace, rest, and joy as you trust in Him. He will never fail you or forsake you.

Yes, it was a horrible Friday around two thousand years ago today, but it was also a glorious day for the millions of believers in the ages to come. What a precious gift Jesus gave the world that day! It is a very Good Friday because Sunday’s coming!!! Happy Resurrection Day!

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

 

Chocolate Bunnies and Jesus

 

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Are you concerned that your children or grandchildren won’t be able to get past all the bunnies, colored eggs, and candy to remember the real reason we celebrate Easter? I used to be! We wanted our children’s first thoughts about Easter every year to be about Jesus’ resurrection and not about candy, eggs or chocolate bunnies.

We didn’t buy our children Easter baskets for this reason, but after we had read the Scriptures about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and worshiped on Easter Sunday, Monday morning  we would help ourselves to the candy on the clearance aisle.

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The beautiful flowers the Lord gave me this year! 03-25-16

We enjoyed the baby chicks, bunnies, and colorful eggs in the context of God bringing new life into our lives after a dreary winter.  Two or three weeks before Easter we would hide colored eggs, but avoided doing it on Easter weekend.

One tradition that we especially enjoyed was making Resurrection Biscuits on Sunday morning. They were easy and fun and such a powerful visual of the miraculous resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. You and your  children and grandchildren will enjoy making memories doing this!

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Resurrection Biscuits

The 5 simple ingredients are:

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  •  Canned biscuits
  •  Butter
  •  Cinnamon
  •  Sugar
  • Marshmallows
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Roll out biscuits (which represents the grave clothes that they wrapped Jesus in, and later it represents the tomb)
  3. Spread on butter (which represents the oil)
  4. Sprinkle on the cinnamon and sugar (which represents the spices Jesus’ followers used to prepare His body for burial)
  5. Lay the marshmallow on the biscuit  (The white marshmallow represents Jesus’ pure, sinless body being placed in the tomb.)
  6. Wrap the dough securely around the marshmallow and fold or pinch the edges tightly. (They sealed the tomb so no one could steal Jesus’ body.)
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for the amount of time listed on the biscuit can directions. (12-16 minutes)

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After the biscuits are baked and you open them up, there will be a hole in the center where the marshmallow has dissolved! This represents the empty tomb! This is a simple reminder of the  power Jesus revealed when He resurrected Himself from the grave and conquered death!

The fact that Jesus had the power to raise himself from the dead proves to us He can and will also raise our dead bodies one day! What an awesome promise and what an Almighty God! This removes a lot of the fear and uncertainty of death for the believer.

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Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, inasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (I Corinthians 15:55-58)

 

No other founder of any other religion has ever been resurrected from the dead….ever!  They died and their bodies turned to dust in the grave.  There is historical evidence of Jesus’ bodily resurrection. That body that still held the piercings from his crucifixion, was seen by more than 500 people at one time! (I Corinthians 15:3-6)

Why would Sinless Jesus be willing to lay down His life for sinners who deserved punishment in hell? As puzzling as it is, it is because He loves us! I’ll never understand it.  I’ve been thinking about 2 Corinthians 8:9,

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“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 

Wow! Just wow. He gave us His everything…right down to His own life!…so He could make a way for us to be with Him forever in heaven. I hope you have repented of your sins, made Him Lord of your life and received this incredible gift of eternal life.

In the Message in John 17:24 Jesus prayed to God,

“Father, I want those you gave me to be with me, right where I am, so they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me. Having loved me long before there ever was a world. Righteous Father, the world has never known you, but I have known you, and these disciples know that you sent me on this mission. I have made your very being known to them–Who you are and what you do– and continue to make it known, so that your love for me might be in them exactly as I am in them.”

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May you have a wonderfully blessed Easter as you celebrate our amazing Lord  and Savior Jesus Christ!

All because of Him,

Gaye

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