Good Friday and the message of hope

Sunday’s a coming, but today is Friday. Meaningful words uttered at the Good Friday live-stream worship service held jointly by three churches in Palo Alto: Vineyard Church, First Christian Church and Peninsula Bible church.

Readings from the bible recalled events that led to Jesus’ crucifixion and death on the cross. A pastor from each church presented expository of the sorrowful moments that showed how humanity’s sin and transgression were borne by an innocent man, Jesus, the Son of God. All the anguish and pain of the world’s iniquities snowballed into a humiliating death on the cross. And at His last agonizing breath, He gave up His spirit to the Father who, at that very instance, was separated from the Son for mankind’s redemption. The Son bore the sins of the world, and the separation from the Father was the most pain, more searing than His physical wounds.

The greatest sacrifice of all. The biggest love of all. But the most victory of all — the victory of the cross over death. “This is Friday – but Sunday’s a coming,” proclaimed a male voice at a dramatic presentation during the online service. Yes, we look forward to Sunday and the good news of Jesus’ resurrection.

What a message of hope especially in these troubled times, when the whole world is clutched in fear over a raging battle with an invisible enemy, the coronavirus. The earth is amok with grief over lost loved ones, while many more struggle to overcome the sickness, and multiples are in the care of doctors and nurses who unselfishly risk their lives so that others might live. The crisis jeopardizes not only people’s health, but also their livelihood, their economic wellbeing. Despair looms – but “this is Friday,” the narrator at the live-stream service says, and “Sunday’s a coming.”

Now is the time to re-examine our hearts, to keep them in tune with the beat of the Almighty’s sovereign will seeped in unmatched love, as shown in the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus, on the cross.

As we hear all the dismal news about the attack of the invisible enemy – it helps to remind ourselves that after “Good Friday”, “Sunday’s a coming.” Already we see it coming in the efforts of first responders, including those who continue to put themselves out there – in the hospitals, COVID-19-related research laboratories, food markets, pharmacies, the security forces, parents with their children at home, spiritual leaders who faithfully put worship on live stream during the shelter-in period, and on and on — these are the heroes who help bring us closer to Sunday. Didn’t God order Sunday after Friday?

Yes, “Sunday’s a coming”, a time to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. A time to celebrate hope.

Linda P. Jacob

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