What Do You Celebrate?
Good Friday. The day, as Christians, that we celebrate our Lord Jesus being crucified for our sins.
Early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate. Pilate questioned Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him, “It is as you say.” The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly. Then Pilate questioned Him again, saying, “Do You not answer? See how many charges they bring against You!” But Jesus made no further answer; so Pilate was amazed.
Now at the feast he used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested. The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection. The crowd went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them. Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead. Answering again, Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify Him!” But Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him!” Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.
The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.
They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.
Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it. And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take. It was the third hour when they crucified Him. The inscription of the charge against Him read, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.” Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. “Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.
When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Behold, He is calling for Elijah.” Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
But as Christians, which holyday do we put more emphasis on? Which do we celebrate more? I submit that Christians in general tend to celebrate Christmas far more than Easter. Why? Because it is the pressure of the world.
Am I saying not to celebrate Christmas? That is up to you. What I am saying is that we need to, as Christians, get our thinking off the world, and onto the things of God. Is Christmas important? Yes. It is when God Himself stepped down off His throne and was made flesh incarnate. But if we only had Christmas, we would have no hope in this world.
Easter is when we celebrate God’s death, burial and resurrection. Without Christmas, there would be no Easter. But without Easter there is no forgiveness of sins. Without Easter, we have no hope of reconciliation with God. Without Easter, we are condemned to an eternity of torment for our sins.
So while you rest with time away from work, think about what the meaning of this holyday is, and it’s importance. And let’s break from the world’s ways, and start putting more emphasis on Easter.
Remember: He is risen!