By Pastor Ron Buxton
It was Friday. Actually, the earliest hours of Friday morning. A man named Peter quietly warmed himself by a fire. His mentor, the itinerant preacher named Jesus, had just been violently arrested. But that was Friday. Sunday was coming!
It was Friday. The disciples had scattered from the garden of Gethsemane following that arrest. They regrouped in the very upper room where they had previously celebrated a final meal with their Master. But now, they would need to relocate in a hurry. Certainly, the authorities would hunt them down as well. But that was Friday. Sunday was coming!
It was Friday. A man named Judas stared dejectedly at the thirty silver coins in his hands. Instead of satisfaction for his instant wealth, he became very nauseous. It was a penetrating guilt that made him want to vomit. But that was Friday. Sunday was coming!
It was Friday. A woman named Mary was crying her eyes out. Word had gotten to her that her eldest son had just been arrested, and would face the death penalty that He had predicted. Somehow she knew this day would come. But that was Friday. Sunday was coming!
It was Friday. The allegations against Jesus intensified. The court of public opinion was decidedly against Him now. Yet, He remained silent. The louder those accusations grew– the more venomous they also became. But that was Friday. Sunday was coming!
It was Friday. The first rays of sunlight cracked the horizon over Jerusalem. Also, Roman soldiers began to push and shove the so-called “King of the Jews”. One soldier even pulled out a purple garment, and cast it upon the shoulders of Jesus. Another soldier quickly platted a crown of thorns and thrust it upon His head. “Hail, King of the Jews!”, they mocked, and then spat in His face. But that was Friday. Sunday was coming!
It was Friday. A black man from Cyrene, North Africa–named Simon–was innocently standing alongside the streets of Jerusalem that day. Roman soldiers laid hold of him, and forced him to carry the heavy wooden plank that would later be used to crucify Jesus. The city was now astir with frantic activity. And this would be an unusual time for a crucifixion–right in the middle of the Jewish Passover celebration. But that was Friday. Sunday was coming!
It was Friday. Large rusty nails, more like railroad spikes, were pulled from a Roman soldier’s pouch. Without hesitation, these same nails were driven through the wrists and feet of Jesus. Screams of pain were heard echoing across the barren place known as Golgotha. Blood oozed from those wounds, and dripped down that rough-cut lumber. But that was Friday. Sunday was coming!
It was Friday. Slowly, and with great agony, Christ pushed Himself upward against that nail that pinned His feet to the cross. Doing so, He was able to exhale the fluids that were building up in His lungs. Also, it enabled Him to utter a few short phrases. These were precious words at a painful price. Suddenly, in one last push upward, Christ shouted: “It is finished!” With that final statement, He bowed His head and died. But that was Friday. Sunday was coming!
I think that it is incredibly important that Jesus chose His last words carefully. He did NOT say: “I am finished”. He said: “It is finished!” Big difference!
Folks, Christ suffered and died to pay mankind’s redemption from sin. Somewhere in the unseen realm, an awesome transaction was accomplished. We had a debt that we could not pay, and He paid a debt that He did not owe. Christ rose bodily from the grave to conquer sin, death, and hell! “Deposit” your faith in the “bank” of heaven to receive from this eternally-blessed “transaction”! It was Friday, but Sunday came!