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Easter 2017


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Good Friday - The Death of Jesus Christ

" who made there . . . . . a full perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world . . . . . ." (Book of Common Prayer, Service of Holy Communion.)

I have always liked the First Epistle of the apostle Peter!
It may be the fact that the Gospels are so blunt about his fallibility -
Only human, like me!
It may be to do with the fact that he tended to open his mouth before he put his brain in gear -
Only human, like me!
When he did open his mouth, he usually put his foot in it!
Only human, like me!

But, and it is a big BUT. When it comes to having a grip on the full implication of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the First Epistle of Peter shows a depth of simple understanding that can be lost in the sometimes convoluted arguments of that other great apostle, Paul.
So, what was happening on that first "Good Friday" when, convicted by the Jewish Court, convicted by the Roman Governor, "the man, Christ Jesus" was condemned to death and executed by being nailed to a cross?

The key verse is verse 24 of chapter 2 "He bore our sins Himself in His body on the tree, that we might die to sins and live to righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed".
Literally it says - "He carried our sins up to and onto the tree . . . ."
At His death, Our Lord Jesus Christ was actually carrying your sins and mine onto the place of punishment - the cross. As the old hymn says "He died that we might be forgiven"
We have been ransomed, redeemed, bought back by the blood of Christ.
Peter again, chapter 1 verses 18 -19. "You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot".
The disciple John confirms what we are saying in his first letter, chapter 1 verse 7 - ". . . the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin."

On that first Good Friday we, and all who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour were being "redeemed", "ransomed", "bought back", brought back into a full relationship with the Holy Righteous Creator God.

Because of Good Friday we can now call the Holy Righteous Creator God - "Our Father"

Because of Good Friday, everything else follows - we are now "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession . . . . now God's people . . ."

Because of Good Friday we can look forward, not only to the resurrection of Easter Day but to our own resurrection. In the words of the apostle Peter - "A possession which is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, preserved in heaven for you . . . . . that you may have a salvation ready to be revealed at the last time". (Chapter 1, verses 4 - 5)

The hymn by Philip P Bliss (1875) is appropriate:-

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
"Full atonement!" can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

Lifted up was He to die;
"It is finished!" was His cry;
Now in Heav'n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we'll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Saviour!


If you really want some "homework"! Read and think through Isaiah, chapter 53.


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©TWB Rural Matters 2017
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