April 14, 2017
Let me tell you about some of the best days of my life. I was on national TV for a football competition when I was 12 years old, and again at age 13. For my 18th birthday my parents gave me a great surprise party. Graduating medical school. My wife and 3 girls gave me awesome surprise 40th and 50th birthday parties. The night I met my wife, Martine – love at first sight. Wedding day … and night. The birth of all 3 of the greatest daughters a father could ever dream of. These were unbelievably joyous days. But amazingly, I wasn’t even alive for the greatest day of my life.
You see, almost 2,000 years ago, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the only Perfect Man who ever lived endured humiliation, persecution, and false accusations from ignorant, corrupted peons posing as rulers. That Perfect Man fulfilled God’s promise and died a physically, psychologically, and spiritually painful death on a cross … for ME! He took the punishment for all my sins, the big ones and little ones … and that is a lot of sin. He was even willing to endure a 3-hour separation from His Father, their first separation ever, as He bore the ugliness and pain of my sins. My sin was the cause of that. He was willing to do all that for me … and He did it for YOU too!
Because of Good, or rather, GREAT FRIDAY and by accepting His death and payment, I am free of Satan’s power, man’s schemes, sin’s guilt, and death’s grip. I am in God’s loving, powerful, and protective arms forever. What relief and peace I now experience, no matter what God allows to come into my life. He uses every experience to purify and grow me into His child, to draw me closer to His love and peace, and to become a disciple of Christ.
This bittersweet day 2,000 years ago will always be the greatest day of my life … until the unbelievable day I get to see Jesus face to face and feel His warm embrace. If today is your greatest day, rejoice and remember it in all the things you do. If it isn’t, please open your heart to the wonder and awesome love of Jesus Christ.
Today, humbly accept Christ as your Savior and Lord if you haven’t already. He died for your daily freedom and more so for your eternal freedom. Does your greatest day compare with mine? The cool thing is that it can be yours, too. If you have already accepted Christ, remember the elation of that day and pass this on to someone who needs to experience his or her greatest day ever. Whether you make Good Friday the greatest day of your life, or you think you can pay the penalty for all your sin and save yourself is the biggest decision you will ever make, so choose well.
Glorious Heavenly Father, Thanks for Your eternal Love that pursued me from Heaven above to a dirty manger, lived as a menial carpenter in a slave family, worked with 12 guys who needed a lot of help, was falsely accused, scorned, whipped, tortured, and killed … for me. I am sorry I stray from You. Thankfully, Your love and sacrifice don’t depend on my obedience. It truly was, is, and will always be unconditional. Help me to rest in this truth and in Your redeeming act every day. May I live a life of joy so others see Your mercy, grace, power and love. In Jesus’ great name, the name above all names; and all God’s children say – Amen!
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” Luke 23:34-47