Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Today is "Good Friday".  What does that really mean?  Well, to many it is one of 2 or 3 days a year that they will take the time to stop and reflect what is important in their lives.  To some it means a day or half day off of work, and who doesn't like that?  To others it is a day to hit the stores, grab those sales, buy those sandals, choose that Easter bonnet.

I have already had people asking if we are leaving work early today, and I am already dreading the idea of hitting the grocery stores tomorrow, because I know they will be packed with well meaning moms, aunts, and grandmothers scurrying about, trying to get all the special ingredients for that carefully planned Easter Sunday meal. 

My question is this.  Shouldn't every Friday be Good Friday?   I often think about the sacrifice that was offered for me.  The ultimate sacrifice.  While it saddens me to imagine a world that had gone so wrong that  this was the only option, I am ever grateful that it was a sacrifice that was given for me and for those I love.  I am thankful that I have a loving God who made the choice in offering the sacrifice of his son, so that you and I could live eternally with them both.

I have recently been doing some studying in the Old Testament, and I have to tell you ....there are some stories that just downright bother me.  I am not a fan of violent blood and guts movies. For example, my most recent lesson learned.  

This story comes from the book of Judges.  There are some pretty graphic stories in this book.  "The Terminator" has nothing that can compare to some of these stories, as far as gore goes.  I am talking about the story of the Priest and his concubine found in Judges Chapters 19-21.  This is just a terrible story.  It completely upset me...and does everytime I read it.    I have to admit, I usually just keep my comments to myself and move on, but this time, I went to my husband and talked to him about it. 

First, I have never really understood the whole concubine thing....I mean really...what in the world was anyone thinking when they thought that having 1 or many concubines would be a good thing?   Secondly, how could a society get so evil that a father and host would have to make a deal with worthless fellows to take his virgin daughter and the concubine of a guest just so that these fellows would not harm the man that he had taken in for the evening as a guest. Lastly, why in the world would someone think it would be a nice thing to do to hack someone into 12 peices and have them delivered to distant relatives.   I mean can you imagine getting that package today?  I'm pretty sure our UPS man would no longer wave at us if he had to deliver that.  After I point out these, what I think are very good points to my husband...he looks at me and smiles...thank goodness he didn't laugh.  Then he calmly points out the very obvious to me.  Nowhere does it say that God approved of these actions, but it does say at least 3 times in the book of Judges "Now in those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes."  You see, I was so caught up in what the circumstances were that I could not see the obvious.  I am like that in my day to day life.  I often get so upset about something I read or hear that I do not see the answer plainly in front of me.

Fast forward to today.  Many of us have traditions that we allow to force us into thinking that this one weekend out of the year we need to focus on the sacrifice made for us.  Today I challenge you to break those traditions, and to make every friday a good friday only because it comes before every Sunday the day we take to worship our Lord and King.  Take that Lord's day and focus on the sacrifice made for you.  Are you living your life and doing what is right in your own eyes or are you making God king of your Heart?