Tony Campolo, renowned evangelist, did an Easter Sermon called, “ It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a Comin’!” That Sermon conveyed the essence of the agony and Joy related to the cross. As Jesus hung alone on the cross—beaten beyond recognition, all around him were degrading him, harassing him and relishing the joy of his demise. The sky grew dark and Jesus cried out for the Father—whom, for the only time in eternity was not with Jesus. The physical pain was so minor compared to the separation from God. That separation was the very emptiness all who are without faith experience—except, that Jesus had been united with the Father for all eternity. It was clearly a Dark Day, that Friday. But—Sunday was a comin’! Jesus had bridged the gap separating God from men.
The epic nature of Jesus sacrifice is as compelling today as it was 2000 years ago—our need for Jesus is as great today. The opposition to submitting to him is as strong. But, when we realize he loves us and wants to restore our relationship with God—It is the greatest decision of our lives. We need to understand the great sacrifice that occurred that Friday, but we also need to embrace the incredible freedom it restored. We are loved and blessed. We simply have to accept the gift his death provided. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin!
God Bless You
33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[b]
35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”
36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,[c] he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph,[d] and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.