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Good Friday Bonus

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
April 10, 2020 2:00 am

Good Friday Bonus

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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April 10, 2020 2:00 am

In this bonus episode, Colonel Eddie Hobgood reminds us why we call it "Good" Friday.

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Hi, this is Chris Benjamin, the director for the Salvation Army Soundcast. We wanted to take this opportunity to share some additional messages of encouragement with you from some of our hosts from shows like Wonderfords of Life and Heartbeat. We just pray that these are an extra blessing to you.

If they are, please share them with a friend. God bless. So what's so good about Good Friday, you might ask? Well, the reality is if it weren't for the events of that day, the Lamb of God being sacrificed for our sins, we wouldn't have Easter Sunday. The pain and suffering of that fateful Friday causes us to rejoice in new life on Easter Sunday. I guess we could even go so far as to say TGIF or thank God it's Friday. Speaking of Friday, Major Jerry Friday. Jerry has been a friend of mine for almost 40 years.

We were in Salvation Army training school together and he tells the story of the time he was standing in line at the Varsity restaurant in Atlanta waiting to order some food. The lady in front of him was just getting her order when she said to the clerk, could I please have some condemnations with that? To which the clerk replied, I'm sorry, I don't understand.

The lady went on to explain, condemnations? I'd like some ketchup and mustard for my hot dog and onion rings. The clerk grinned and replied, oh honey, you want condiments.

That's ketchup and mustard. And you get those at the counter over there. Condemnations? You get those at church.

Well, it's funny until you think about just how truthful that statement is. Far too many people see the church as a place of condemnation instead of a place of hope. Especially during these days of COVID-19, there is a real sense of dread, fear, and condemnation in our world. Before the events of that first Easter, the world was indeed under the condemnation of sin. And condemnation equates to separation.

Separation from God. In Romans, the 5th chapter, we read some words that describe this condition to us. And in the 5th chapter of Romans, verse 13, we read, before the law was given, sin was in the world. And in verse 14, death reigned from the time of Adam. Verse 16, the judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation. There's that word, condemnation. Verse 18, the result of one trespass was condemnation for all people. Condemnation for all people. We were condemned. We were separated from God. But is all hope lost?

Thank God it's not. And in Romans, the 8th chapter, verses 1 through 3, we read these words. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering, and so he condemned sin in the flesh. Hallelujah. One of my favorite hymns is, And Can It Be by Charles Wesley.

I especially love the words he uses in the song, ransom, healed, restored, forgiven, as well as the opening line of that last verse. No condemnation, now I dread. In the 8th chapter of John, we read the account of the woman caught in adultery. There was no question that what she was engaging in was wrong and morally unacceptable. By law, she should have been condemned, even put to death. But Jesus turns the situation upside down when he says to the crowd that was ready to kill her, Let the one of you who is without sin throw the first stone.

There's absolute silence as the power of his words sink in. You who is without sin. The reality is, there's no one who is sinless or blameless or not condemned already, except Jesus. And Jesus' words to the woman give us hope. When he says in John 8, verses 10 and 11, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? No one, sir, she said. Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared.

Go now and leave your life of sin. One movie that gets a lot of airtime during the Easter season has been her. There was a remake a few years ago, but it cannot compete with the Charlton Heston version, in my opinion. Ben Hur is a Jewish nobleman who was falsely accused by his childhood friend, Masalla, of an attempted assassination and enslaved by the Romans while his mother and sister are imprisoned and contract leprosy. Ben Hur becomes a slave on a galley ship and ends up saving the life of the ship's commander, who later adopts him. Ben becomes a soldier and a chariot racer. Seeking revenge for the wrong done to him and his family, Ben participates in a chariot race in which Masalla is also a contestant. Masalla is killed in the race, but Ben realizes that revenge is not the answer. He returns to Jerusalem to try and find his mother and sister.

Because of their leprosy, they are outcasts. He finds them and determines to take them to a man called Jesus, who he has heard can heal them. He hides them in a cave, which turns out to be Golgotha and directly underneath the hill where Christ is crucified. When he sees that Jesus has been crucified, he believes that the miracle his family needs is now impossible. He despairs, because it seems as though heaven has turned its face away.

The sky grows dark, lightning flashes, the earth trembles and convulses. It seems as if God himself is crying. Water mingled with precious blood of Christ flows over the side of Golgotha. Ben Hur's mother and sister come out of the cave, and as they come in contact with the blood of Jesus, they are healed, free from the condemnation of their flesh. When Ben sees his family home, he believes in Jesus. His heart, which was once filled with hatred and revenge, spiritual leprosy, if you will, has been set free. His soul is no longer condemned. William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, wrote these words that salvationists love to sing. O boundless salvation, deep ocean of love, O fullness of mercy, Christ brought from above the whole world redeeming, so rich and so free, now flowing for all men, come roll over me. Praise the Lord. The blood of Jesus has the power to free us from the condemnation of sin and restore our relationship with the Father. And in Ephesians, the second chapter, and the 13th verse, we read these incredibly encouraging words. But now, in Christ Jesus, you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

TGIF. Thank God it's Friday. Hallelujah. Now, think for a moment, think for a moment about this sacrifice, this gift that Christ has given you and me that sets us free from the curse of sin, from the condemnation of the law. And think about ways that he has set you and me free. And then today, as we think about those things, as we try to enumerate them, let's thank him for the sacrifice that he's made on our behalf on this day that we call Good Friday.

Would you pray with me? Father God, we thank you today for your love and your goodness to us, especially the love that we have experienced through your son, Jesus Christ. Whoa, what a sacrifice he has made for us. He has paid the price, the penalty for our sin. The condemnation has been lifted from us and we have been set free. And so, Father, today, especially as we think about the pain, the agony, the incredible, incredible things that Christ went through for us, we pause just to once again say thank you. And we look forward to Sunday when we can rejoice in his resurrection, knowing that his resurrection gives us life eternal. And so for that, we thank you today. Thank you for your word. Thank you for your gift in Jesus we pray. Amen. God bless you today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-03 11:21:00 / 2024-02-03 11:24:38 / 4

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