By Rev. Gueary Clendenning
There is a prophecy in the Old Testament of the Bible concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is found in Isaiah 52: 13-15 in the New Living Translation: “See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. Yet He will startle[b] many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about…”
Seven hundred years later, on a Friday, the Roman soldiers beat Him (the Son of God) with their fists until His face was horribly swollen and His eyes were nearly shut. They stripped Him of His clothes and whipped Him with a rock-laced leather whip. His back was ripped open, his skin was shredded, exposing his internal organs. They crowned Him with a bed of thorns, put a reed in His hand, and clothed Him in a scarlet robe, spit on Him and mocked Him as the King of the Jews. They led Him in a procession outside of the city gate of Jerusalem to a place called Golgotha (Translation: A Hill Called the Skull).
And there they crucified Him, nailing His hands and feet to a wooden cross. The soldiers then gambled for His robe. The religious leaders mockingly shouted, “He saved others but can not save himself.” At around 3pm on that Friday, Jesus cried out “It is finished!” Finally, they laid Him in a borrowed tomb, and sealed it with the Governor’s seal. A group of soldiers were stationed around the tomb to prevent anyone from stealing the body. The events of His death all occurred on Friday- Only Jesus knew Sunday was coming!
“But very early on Sunday morning the women came to the tomb. They found the stone covering the entrance rolled to the side. They went into the tomb but couldn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Suddenly, two men appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified. Then the men said, “why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive?, He isn’t here. He has risen from the dead. Don’t you remember what He told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, that He would be crucified, and that He would rise again the third day.” (Luke 24:1-7)
Friday has past and Sunday has come, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah!
For the past two thousand years, millions of people have believed the accounts of Christ as revealed in the scriptures, and as a result their lives have been changed. The message is simple; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, (to die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins against God) so that everyone who believes in Him, will not perish but receive Eternal Life….For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved.” (John 3:16, Romans 10:9).
Saved means to be forgiven of our sins; placed into the family of God to receive a new life of peace and purpose and to have the assurance of life after death with God forever!
I encourage you, if you have not received God’s gift provided by His Son, that you pray to Christ today! For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord, will be saved (Romans 10:13). That’s God’s promise; believe and receive.
Finally, these past few weeks we have experienced our own “Friday.” All of the things we have relied on have been shaken or removed. I don’t know what the future holds but I do know who holds my hand. Regardless of the outcome, because of Christ, Sunday’s coming!
Gueary Clendenning is a retired Assembly of God pastor, having served as Senior pastor of the Valparaiso Assembly.