“Good and Black Friday”

By Pastor Rodney Tilley

     This Friday we will celebrate the crucifixion and death of our Savior, Jesus Christ on the day that many in the Western world term, “Good Friday.” And good it is for it was on this day over 2000 years ago that Christ took upon him the sins of the world and forgave mankind asking the Father to, “forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) It was such a good day for all of us for finally we could be reconciled with God with clean hearts and a healthy soul, and boldly come to God with nothing to separate us from his love. Sin that separates was once and for all time forgiven and forgotten.

     But it was not all good and that too is recognized by many for in the Eastern Church, especially in the Orthodox Church, they call this Friday not “Good Friday” but “Black Friday,” for you see, it was on this day that Jesus in his agony cries out in Matthew 27:46, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” He felt no one was there, not even God. In the midst of his dying this horrible death he also was dying for us and he also was taking the punishment for our sin. Therefore, God had to turn his back on him and forsake the 2nd member of the Trinity, leaving him to die a lonely death, sinful and painful, which is then aptly named “Black Friday,” and black it was, dark, and foreboding, lonely and sad.

     And that is the way we too must approach this week, for it can either be good and full of blessing, or it can be black and lonely. You see, God cannot look on sin for he is too holy and therefore separates himself from sin, and because of that he must either punish the sin or forgive the sin. He wishes that “everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), but sad to say, most of mankind has not come to that place, instead they have come to the place of denying the forgiveness of God. They lie and sin, and that separates them from God. They get drunk and that sin separates them from God. They lust after their neighbor’s spouse and their uncle’s daughter  and that sin too separates them from God. They steal, and get angry, they cheat and curse, and that separates them from God as well, and then they ask, “Why do I feel so lonely and why has God forsaken me?” God does not forsake you, but he cannot condone your sin. You must repent and then quickly God comes running with outstretched arms and a loving voice to call you unto himself.

      But the choice is yours – it can either be “Good Friday” or it can be “Black Friday” and I urge you choose the good. Come to God, leave your sin behind, and bask in the goodness of forgiveness. This Friday, the price and the punishment for your sin has already been paid, so why not accept it and let Jesus take your sins and reconcile you to God. You have been away too long and it has been a long hard road, so take the higher road, the straight and narrow, and come to God. And then, the story will  continue for Sunday is “Resurrection “ Sunday, Easter, and you too can enjoy new life, a new day, and a new beginning. Come on- Jesus is waiting.

     For more information on the goodness of Easter, please call Pastor Rodney Tilley, Van Horn Community Church at 432-207-0015.