Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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April 6 – Good Friday – What Is Truly Good

“And Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’”  John 12:23,24

Devotional Thought For The Day

I remember the time, when I was a young person and asked the question, “Why is it called Good Friday”?  We were talking about a wretched thing, the rejection of Jesus the Son of God, the disgusting hatred against Him, the misuse of political and judicial authority, the apparent victory of darkness over good.  My fellow Christians seemed somber, almost depressed, as if they didn’t view the day as being “good” at all. Yet it was certain; everyone called it Good Friday.

The response I received was that “it was good for you.” Thankfully, I had Christian parents who knew the Gospel, that on Good Friday the Son of God was offering up Himself as the blood atonement for the sins of the whole world, thus reconciling God to us. The day was good for us – the best day for fallen, sinful human beings who have no hope apart from God’s gracious mercy and forgiveness. And yet there are so many even today for whom this reality is unknown, distant, inconsequential, or even rejected, those who find only little or no “good” in this day, in this great cosmic work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

After a time I began to think that it was somewhat untoward for me to rejoice in the good of Good Friday, when it involved such great expense for another, for God and His Son Jesus.  This is how our sinful minds work – that we should feel guilty and even averse to receiving the blessed things that God wants us to have as His free gift. It is a good thing to break out of our “personal” issues and to look at the larger picture.  It wasn’t that Good Friday was good just for me – it was good in the larger picture of God’s love for mankind, His plan to reintroduce love into human experience and human hearts. It was good to grow a crop of goodness and love, new life, new people who belonged to God through faith in Jesus Christ. Still, it is no good for us if we are unwilling to make this good personal, by personally receiving this great gift of God through personal faith in Jesus.

The good purpose of what Christ endured on Good Friday cannot be overestimated.  The fruit that grew out of His “dying” is the generation of the holy Christian Church [I’m not talking about institutions, but the deeper invisible reality of the Holy Spirit’s moving, creating faith and new life in human hearts, through repentance and faith in Jesus]. This is an awesome dynamic that continues moving and growing throughout the world, though it is to a large degree unseen and despised by the rich, by those with power, and even within the institutional churches [who are often more concerned with numerical growth, budgets, and corporate “success”]. What a wretched mess, to turn away from the real “good” of Good Friday and simply use the words for external bureaucratic or personal purposes and gain. Lord, have mercy.

Let us remember that we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are not only blessed with forgiveness, redemption, and eternal life, but are also invited into the same dynamic – “dying to bear much fruit.” It is not the external circumstances of our lives that matter but rather laying down our lives in service to others – for the sake of Christ’s good, His cross and redemption. In our homes, our work, our friendships, our trade and commerce, we “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” The fruit of Christ’s good work is not sterile, but continues the process of bearing even more fruit. So, we also are invited to experience the good of what at first does not seem so good to us. Such is the power of love.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, the goodness of Your love is otherworldly, completely alien to what comes naturally to my sinful thinking. Thank You for causing Your love to touch my heart and mind, so that I may experience what is truly good. Thank You for teaching us what is truly good that first Good Friday, and for Your willingness to bear much fruit, that we too might be incorporated into that good. Amen.