Tomorrow (Friday—Good Friday) we honor Christ’s death. Reading the passages in the Gospels and reflecting on His great sacrifice help us to concentrate on the price He paid for our redemption.

            Matthew 26:1 – 27:65

            Mark 14:1 – 15:47

            Luke 22:1 – 23:56

            John 18:1 – 19:42

A millennium before Christ’s death, the Psalmist David described Jesus’ suffering (Psalm 22). Jesus even quoted David from this Psalm when He was on the Cross: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” (22:1) People living in those days memorized large portions of Scripture, so when Jesus cried this phrase from the Cross, He was expecting people to remember the entire Psalm. Jesus was in essence asking people to refer to this Psalm to understand what was happening.

About 700 years before the actual crucifixion, the prophet Isaiah predicted the Messiah’s death and gave us the how and why of His suffering: “Surely, he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that bought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53: 4, 5).

Sunday we will celebrate Christ’s resurrection with joyful songs of grace, redemption, and healing. Because of His resurrection, we can have hope for our resurrection. I’ll never forget my grandfather’s funeral more than 50 years ago and the joy I sensed as we sang the truth of John 11:25: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” But we will never be able to fully rejoice on Easter Sunday unless we have experienced the cleansing of sin that Christ bought through the shedding of His blood on that Friday more than 2000 years ago.  

The sign on a local business says: “It’s not about the bunny; it’s about the Lamb.” As we color eggs and buy chocolate for our children and grandchildren, may we concentrate on the real meaning of Easter and honor our Savior who died so that we might have life.