Today is Good Friday.
At both of our services we will do something that is, on its face, a bit odd; we will gather to worship and celebrate the humiliation, rejection, torture, and death of Jesus of Nazareth. We will be led in song with wonderful instrumentation and incredible verse. Together we will lend our voices to one another in a chorus of lament and praise.
To what end? Because, coming together to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs helps us to experience the reality of God's redemptive plan for the world.
In the words of Reggie Kidd, "The songs of the people of God are like the soundtrack to an incredible epic, infinitely grander, earthier, bloodier, and more redemptive than Braveheart. Mel Gibson's version of William Wallace crying out "FREEDOM!" from the gallows is but a pale reflection of Christ's cry from the tree, "It is FINISHED!"
Tonight, as you hear the words of a story that was set in place before the dawn of time, I hope that you will allow yourself to be caught up in the emotions that the reality of this event may bring, knowing that it is at the center of our hope.
Luke writes, in Acts 22-23, “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it."
Because this verse is true, we will come together tonight, on Good Friday, to sing and worship the death of Jesus; AND we will come together again on Resurrection Sunday to sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs proclaiming the ultimate reality of our hope - the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!
Let this be true for both services, "We will enter his gates with thanksgiving in our hearts, we will enter his courts with praise."
And we will remember that the proper response to "He Is Risen!" is, of course,
"He Is Risen, Indeed!"
Sing boldly people of God!
- Pastor Michael