Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday – Part One of Two
Yet it was the LORD’s will to bruise him; He put Him to grief. When His soul shall constitute an offering for sin, He shall see His followers, He shall prolong His days, by His hand shall the LORD’s will advance. The results of the sufferings of His life He shall see—He shall be satisfied. By knowledge of Him shall My Righteous Servant make many righteous, for He shall bear their guilt. Isaiah 53:10-11 MLV
Resurrection Sunday is coming! It’s a joyful time for Christians, of far greater importance than Easter egg hunts and candy. Yet before we can get to Resurrection Sunday, we must journey from Palm Sunday through Good Friday and the Cross. Without remembering the significance of the Cross, Easter Sunday has little meaning.
Picture the crowd on Palm Sunday, placing branches down on the path before Jesus as He came into Jerusalem on a donkey. They shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! The King of Israel!” (John 12:12-19) Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead and fed the multitudes. The crowd was ready for Him to be king.
Being a political king was not Jesus Christ’s purpose of coming to earth. During His illegal trial before Pontius Pilate, Jesus told him, “You say that I am king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.” John 18:37 RSV
It was not truth the people were interested in. How quickly the crowd was swayed to shout “Crucify Him!”
The Cross did not surprise Jesus. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that the cup of His sacrificial death would pass from Him, but He willingly submitted to His Heavenly Father and to all He knew was coming. “…Not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39) Jesus was committed to His Father’s will. His love for mankind prompted Him to provide the rescue for us even while we were yet unfaithful to Him.
The Savior’s death should not have surprised the disciples. Jesus told them, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:1-2 NKJV) At the upper room Jesus said, “One of you will betray Me.” The disciples were unaware that Judas Iscariot had made arrangements with the chief priests to betray the Savior for thirty pieces of silver, as prophesied by the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 26:14-16, 20-25) Mary of Bethany was one of the few to understand He would die; she anointed Him for His burial. (John 12:1-8)
How can we prepare our hearts as we journey from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday?
- Reflect on why Jesus came to earth. He bore our guilt to make us righteous through belief in Him.
- Set aside time to thank God for His love for us. Let’s remember what His love cost Him.
- Let’s examine the areas where we struggle and need to be faithful to Jesus.
- Seek truth.
The second part of this devotional series will go into the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
Lord Jesus, may I never take Your love for me for granted. Thank you for suffering and dying for my sins. Thank you for the hope I have in You because You live! In Jesus name, Amen.
Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. Blogs post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are archived for your convenience. The previous devotional follows this one on the web page.