Updated: May 8, 2022
Today is Good Friday. It’s the day Christians commemorate the death of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, on the cross. It feels funny to type those words out. Most nominal Christians are happy to celebrate “Easter” and do the egg hunts, but they don’t go out into the world proclaiming the gospel. Why? Because the world laughs. They scorn and shun you if you veer into a discussion of the Son of God coming to Earth as a man, being nailed to a cross, and raised from the dead to defeat sin as part of a divine master plan.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Sure, we can talk about Easter baskets and a new dress for church on Sunday. We can dye eggs, leave out carrots for the bunny who drops off goodies and make plans to get our brood to church for the big day. But don’t ask us to go out preaching about the cross. Don’t tell friends, neighbors, and even strangers in the checkout line how God saved you and washed you clean with the blood of His Son. No, sir. That crosses the line into Bible-thumping, street-corner-preacher craziness. Even here in the Bible Belt, folks have their limits.
Aren’t you glad God doesn’t have limits? We’re the sinners, not Him. But He still loved us enough to send His Son to be beaten and spit on, hated and reviled, nailed to a cross to die in agony so that we can be forgiven. Don’t fool yourself. You are not a good person. I don’t care how many people you help or what your mama says about you. Tell me you’ve never lied, cheated, stolen, lusted, or coveted, and say it with a straight face. If we're honest, we've all done something—probably a lot of questionable to downright terrible things.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
We need Jesus. Without Him, we die in our sin and are separated forever from God. Hell is real, and it’s not somewhere you want to be. It’s not a giant party of perpetual sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll from all your favorite bands. I don’t know who you think might be headlining down there, but I doubt you’ll get a beer to enjoy while you listen to a cover of “Lake of Fire.” I could spend more time on this topic, but that’s not my focus today.
Good Friday is about Jesus... and the relationship He wants to have with you!
If you don’t know who Jesus is, that’s easily remedied. I'd suggest you start with The Gospel of Mark. Gospel means good news, and it is! This is a wonderful introduction to Jesus, His life, and ministry. The crucifixion story, also in Mark, is found in Chapter 15. It's ok to have questions; everyone does. So don't let that stop you. Even seasoned Christians learn new things every day.
I can also promise you that nothing you’ve ever thought or said or done is too awful to be forgiven. What does that mean? They are gone, wiped completely clean. "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our wrongdoings from us." Psalm 103:12
Please give the song a listen and then come back and finish our conversation...
Ok, are you ready to know Jesus more personally? He's been waiting for you to ask. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
The steps are simple:
Admit that you’re a sinner in need of salvation.
"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23
Believe that Jesus is God’s Son who came to die on the cross and be resurrected on the third day so that sinners just like you might be forgiven and saved.
"If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9
"For I handed down to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...." 1 Corinthians 3:4
Confess Jesus is the Lord of your life and commit to following Him.
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.'" John 14:6
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13
There are plenty of short prayers for salvation available with a quick search, but I'm a big fan of just saying it from the heart.
Jesus, I'm a sinner. I know I need you. I'm not sure how to go about it, but I trust you to help me. I believe you lived as a man, died on the cross for my sins, and rose on the third day. I know you're the Son of God and my only hope for salvation. I'm truly sorry for my sins and want to do better. Please come into my heart and change me. Be my personal Savior. Help me to know you more each day and live a life that will please you. Thank you for loving me and forgiving me. I can't wait to share the good news! Amen.
It’s very straightforward, but I know you’ll probably have questions. So I’m going to direct you to more information and answers. After you accept Jesus, you'll want to reach out to a local church or believing friend or family member. They can help you with the next steps. You'll also want to share your good news and follow up with baptism, which is "a conclusive act of obedience and witness to the world that we are Christ’s," according to Billy Graham.
I’d love to