“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Good Friday. It marks the completion of Christ’s work on Earth – at least for a while. It is a bitter sweet day. If you have a chance to go to a Good Friday service, I hope that you will attend. I love this day. I love it because it re-focuses my life onto the love that Christ has for me. I used to think that the crucifixion was a corporate sacrifice – done for everyone, but not specifically for me. However, God has shown me over the last several years that He did, in fact, die specifically for me.
If you’ve ever had the same feelings, I pray that you will ask God to reveal just how personal His work is to you. He will show you. In fact, did you know that in His last prayer before facing betrayal, mockery, flogging, and eventually crucifixion, He prayed for you? He prays for himself, the disciples, and us. And “us” includes you as a believer. What a beautiful example of his personal love for us – He was on His hands and knees praying for us!
Before we walk with Jesus to the cross, let’s go to the Garden of Gethsemane and spend some time observing Christ in prayer. We know from Matthew, Mark, and Luke that Jesus was in mental anguish. I can only imagine the emotions that ravaged His human body. Interestingly, only one gospel gives the specific details of Christ’s prayer. Maybe you want to climb up in a tree or sit beneath one. Kneel with me beside Him and listen to His prayer.
Read John 17:1-26
Jesus starts with a prayer for God to be glorified through Him, “Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you” (v.17). The focus is on God’s glory. Then, he prays for the disciples, some of which were slumbering not far from where he kneeled. He prays for the protection and sanctification of the disciples, saying, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (v.15). Then, he prays for you: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world” (v. 24).
Hallelujah! He wants to be with you and for you to see God’s glory!
Let’s look at Christ’s glory. Few movies have moved me more than “The Passion of the Christ.” I sob through the entire movie. I remember the first time I watched it; I could barely look at the screen. I was about to leave the theater when I felt the heaviness of God’s hand hold me firmly in my seat. “Nikol, sit and watch. I did this for you.” That’s when I was almost to the point of wailing. While it’s difficult, I watch this movie every Easter. It certainly puts things into perspective.
I could spend a week talking about the last few hours of Christ’s life. While I hate to hit the fast forward button, let’s move to the cross. Beaten and broken for your sins, Jesus is nailed to the cross. Ever hear it put like that before? Kind of takes your breath away, doesn’t it? It was an agonizing death. Stare up at the cross. Hear His labored breathing. Watch His bloodied and broken body rise and fall as He prepares to breath his last breathe. And as you look at the God of the universe nailed to a cross remember…he did it for you.