It’s Good Friday. One of the darkest days in history. Or at least it was for those who lived it. We know what happens three days later, but the witnesses of the crucifixion weren’t sure. Those closest to Christ had left families, homes, and jobs to follow and serve him. There they stood hiding in the crowd or just hiding, clinging to all hope that what he told them was true. He would rise from the grave and make a better way for them and millions to follow throughout time. A better way. An eternal way.
Thinking in terms of eternity is so hard when we’re trying to navigate this world and the ups and downs it presents. It has been said that there are 365 “fear not” statements (or some form of do not be afraid) in the Bible. I’ve not counted them, but if there are, that’s one for each day of the year. Many times fear not is followed by comforting and reassuring words from or about God.
Here are just a few I found. What’s interesting is that while they are words of comfort, there is often a suggested action on the believer’s part. Words of encouragement have no power unless the recipient opens their mind and heart to them. Where is your heart as you read these:
“He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8
“Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isa. 43:1
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isa 41:10
“Do not be afraid Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” Daniel 10:12
“But Jesus came and touched them. ‘Get up,’ he said. “Don’t be afraid.”
“Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.'”
Jeremiah 29:11 is often quoted in times of unsureness. But the real key to taking in this verse is to go back to verse 10. It is there that we see that God is faithful and fulfills promises, but it’s in His time; when the time is right. I don’t know what makes the time right. Because God doesn’t function within the constraints of clocks and calendars, more than likely it’s a heart thing or having all the right people in the right place at a given time. Not a clue. So like I mentioned the other day, we just have to listen and expect to hear him and be ready to walk forward in faith.
That fateful Friday the earth shook, it was dark at noon, and nobody understood what was happening or when it would end. Ever felt that way?
Jesus felt that darkest hour when he cried out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me? Do you think the disciples were thinking the same of him? But then Christ “yielded” his soul. He gave up His life.
In our darkest hour, are we yielding our hearts to the will of God? On this #GoodFriday yield your heart, bow your head and mourn for this world’s loss was eternity’s gain. Sunday will come literally and figuratively.
Jesus walked out of his own grave to solidify our hope in eternity and in promises about our time on earth that will be kept.