One Good Friday
“At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ). When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!””
Mark 15:33-39 NIV
I would like to share with you something that happened on a Good Friday some years ago. This all took place at my Good News Club for neighborhood children. Because the lesson was about the death and resurrection of Jesus, I prayed , ” Lord please let this be more than a story to the kids. Let them somehow realize how important these events are to you.”
It was a beautiful, sunny , spring day with blue skies and puffy clouds. We began the lesson as normal with prayer, singing and probably thoughts about the cookies and Koolade that would be served later. As the lesson progressed to Jesus giving up His last breath and dying for ours sins, a HUGE blast of wind slammed into my house, shaking everything, including us. All of us were shocked and frightened ; the sky had turned black and the wind continued to roar. We all stared out the windows in silence. As the leader of the club, I sat , not knowing exactly how to proceed with the wide-eyed children. I glanced at the clock. It was 3:00. Realization dawned; this was God’s answer to my prayer. I found my voice and said something like, This is pretty much what it was like when Jesus died. I think the Lord wants us to know how important Good Friday is to Him. I reiterated parts of Mark 15. We finished the lesson and offered, as always, the invitation to receive Christ. The children were quiet and thoughtful as they left.
Later I shared the experience with my husband, wondering how he would react to my wild story. He shared that he had seen the same event. He was a few miles away at a 7-Eleven store when a powerful blast of wind blew both heavy glass doors wide open. The sky had gone from blue to black.
From Pastor Shelton: I love the ways God continually points us to the love and sacrifice of Christ. There is no other name on Earth by which man can be saved. No other hope. No other path. No other source. There is only Jesus. And yet, if we are honest, we can allow things like Good Friday to come and go without truly stopping and seeing the splendor and glory of God on display. And so, God often does for us what we will not do for ourselves. He causes us to take notice. And so he has done this year. As you sit at home on this rainy Good Friday, may you behold the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. And may it stir you to repentance and worship.