WEDNESDAY, APR. 4: This time last year I had just arrived back from Israel.
I cannot begin to tell you what that trip did for me. Good Friday has always been a very emotional time for me as I consider the weight of what Jesus carried, but since that trip it means even more.
I can recall last year standing on The Mount of Olives and looking over the Kidron Valley and being told of the pathway that Jesus took on His way to being crucified — Via Dolorosa.
As if that was not enough, it was not too long thereafter that we actually walked along the path ourselves.
It is one thing to see something and entirely another thing to walk it.
The uneven paths, the narrow passages, the many tangled pathways. Jesus took that walk knowing it would lead to a hill called Golgotha — Calvary.
That is amazing. Jesus chose to take a journey that would be filled with unimaginable pain because He had to complete a mission that He was sent to do.
God had sent His Son, Jesus, to be a ransom for many; Jesus was born to die; Jesus was born to die to live again.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
This is the hope that Christians have: that because Jesus lives we will live also.
Often, at Homegoing celebrations, we hear this scripture verse:
Luke 14: 1-3
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Christians believe that Jesus became the perfect sacrifice — The Sacrificial Lamb, without sin, stain, or blemish.
Jesus became the perfect sacrifice so that there was no longer any need for all of the imperfect sacrifices. Jesus fully fulfilled the ransom obligation.
Think about it: During Jesus’ ministry, all He did was go about doing good.
Jesus set captive souls free; He brought about restoration and wholeness for many.
As Jesus walked the Earth, signs, wonders, and miracles followed Him. Oh, there was great joy when Jesus was in the city.
Yet, that wonderful man died between two thieves. Thieves who had stolen, taken away, and robbed others of what they had earned.
Indeed the two thieves earned death. On the other hand, Jesus took on death and volunteered to die, so that He could represent us to His Father.
Jesus was the perfect lamb who carried the sins of the world and then decided to become a legal victim to the sins that He bore. Jesus died; Jesus chose to die for the sins of the world.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Here’s the good news. Jesus did not stop at death. He was in relationship with His Father and therefore Jesus had all power.
Jesus defeated death by resurrecting on that Sunday morning.
Jesus showed you and me that death is not the winner.
Jesus shows that death is not the end of the story; there is life after death.
How do I know? Because Jesus lived after death. Now you and I can live also.
This Good Friday, celebrate and honour that Jesus became a convict by taking on your sins. Then celebrate that He (Jesus) paid the price and now you are free.
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
You are not your sins. You are not your past. You are full of new hope and new life.
Embrace the work Jesus did for you on Calvary and begin life again.
Dr Maria A Seaman is the pastor of Shekinah Worship Centre, North Shore, Hamilton Parish.