Joshua 19:1-20:9, Luke 19:28-48, Psalms 88:1-18, Proverbs 13:12-14
Today is the 19th day of April. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian and it is great to be here with you today although this is the most somber day of the year in the life of a believer. Today is Good Friday. Today commemorates the day that Jesus was crucified. So, it’s important for us to keep that at the forefront of our thoughts today and maybe we’ll talk about that a little bit at the end of our reading today even though it is Good Friday it is another day and, as is our rhythm, we will take the next step forward in the Scriptures this year. And we’ve been reading from the New Living translation this week. Today Joshua chapter 19 and 20.
Okay. So, as I mentioned at the beginning, today is Good Friday and really, what else should or would we talk about. This is a day that we’ve been leading up to and we began to observe this season almost 40 days ago, I guess 37, 38 days ago on Ash Wednesday, which began the season of Lent and we talked about it along the way and some people observe Lent and some people don’t. And it’s not a command in the Bible. It’s a way of preparing our hearts to get here and to get through here and we can’t get to Easter, which is perhaps the most important day in the life of the believer. We would say maybe this is the most important day in human history, Easter, but we can’t get there without coming through here. And today is a day that commemorates the day that Jesus was nailed to a cross and hung in unspeakable agony, pain that I don’t even know how to…I don’t even know how to think about, but it wasn’t just a physical pain, it wasn’t just the physical torture that would eventually cause his heart stopped beating it…it was the weight of the sins of the world upon his shoulders and the utter and complete rejection of everyone, it was the weight of the verbal abuse in the lying, it was the weight of being spit upon and smacked around, it was the weight of the world upon his shoulders. And, so, thankfully, we do understand that Easter is coming. Thankfully we have that hope but if we put ourselves back with the disciples, if we put ourselves back with the people who were following Jesus at a distance, if we go back to the people who were talking about the things that Jesus was talking about and it was spreading like wildfire and they were following this man and then we get to today and rather than any other number of things that could’ve happened that this day took the life of this person and his life was taken by crucifixion, a horrible death and we don’t know that we can look forward to Easter, right? He said stuff about this, but it was all cryptic and we don’t understand. And we watch Him bow his head in death then we would properly put ourselves in the confused and black day that it is because we do certainly look forward to Easter. We certainly do understand that that’s coming but today we put ourselves in the position of understanding that the light of the world went out, was snuffed out, and that Jesus came off of the cross dead and He was wrapped with spices and put into a tomb quickly to avoid all of the problems with Passover. And they had planned to get through Passover and come back and get his body and figure out what to do. That was the plan. So, we put ourselves in that position. And even if you go to a Good Friday service today, depending on the tradition you’ll probably receive Communion or the Eucharist, but an appropriate way to end a Good Friday service is that the candle gets blown out and everything goes dark and everyone leaves in silence because what worse thing could happen? Besides the light of the world being taken out of the world, what hope would be left after that? And that’s where we leave ourselves on Good Friday. We’ve been considering during the season of Lent, the weight, the cost of our freedom and we’ve invited God to reorganize and reprioritize our lives and take out whatever doesn’t need to be there and put in whatever does to just allow ourselves to lament and sit with it. And, so, we come to this day of ultimate grief. Now we’re face-to-face with what it cost to give us our freedom. We’ve been tracking with the Bible and through the sacrificial system and all the way through all of the things that would need to be done to remind a person of how helpless they are without God and then we get to this day and we see that people could still, could still, could still try to do away with the Lord. And yet, in spite of it all what the Lord’s saying through this scene that we commemorate today is that I am doing away with sin. Sin isn’t going to be the story anymore. Once and for all this is being dealt with. We’re not going to be separated anymore. We’re going to be united. And, so, that’s what we hope in as we move toward Easter, but today. Today we experience the blackness of the day that it is. Today we consider what it would be like if there were no Easter. Today, we consider the price that was paid to take the shackles off of our lives and give us freedom and we once again consider the shackles that we keep putting back on that don’t need to be there anymore.
Holy Spirit, we invite You into the experience of this Good Friday. For some of us it’ll just be another day and we’ll be busy and get things done. For others of us, we’ll sit with the blackness of this day. And for most of us it’ll be something in between. We invite Your Holy Spirit to bring the year what it cost to remove sin as a part of our story to give us the freedom to walk away from a dead-end life and onto a narrow path that will lead to life. We sit with these things and we thank You Jesus. We are humbled. But the truth is the word…there aren’t the right words that at least that I know that can properly show gratitude and it be big enough. You changed our lives completely and utterly and we apologize for the shackles that we keep putting on ourselves and we ask that Your Holy Spirit lead us through this season to resurrection day and that those chains fall off once and for all. Come Holy Spirit we pray in the name of Jesus we ask. Amen.
Death Be Not Proud - Audrey Assad
Death, be not proud, though the whole world fear you:
Mighty and dreadful you may seem,
But death, be not proud, for your pride has failed you
You will not kill me.
Though you may dwell in plague and poison,
You’re a slave to fate and desperate men,
So death, if your sleep be the gates to Heaven,
Why your confidence?
When you will be no more,
You will be no more,
When you will be no more.
Even death will die.
Even death will die.
Death, be not proud.
Death, be not proud.
Death, be not proud,
Cause even death will die.