Passion Week - Friday
Unique Plan of Rescue
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, n and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Today is what the church has for years called Good Friday. It is a day of somber celebration. It is a somber day because of the price Jesus paid for our freedom. We celebrate in light of all the benefits we receive as a result of Christ shedding His blood for us on the cross. In verse 10b Isaiah writes, “...though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin.” is the death of an animal hence the shedding of blood. In the book of Leviticus, Moses instructs his people on the sacrifices and gives the reason when he says, 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Leviticus 17:11. Life is in the blood and that is why we say Jesus gave his life for us when he shed his blood on the cross.
For more background on the sin offering we need to go back to the great exodus of Israel. God wanted his people free and told Moses to go to Pharaoh and say, “Let my people go.” To which Pharaoh replied, “No!” God unleashed nine plagues on Egypt that did not succeed in freeing God’s people. The last plague was the taking of the first born male children. In order to protect the Israelites first born males instructions were given to sacrifice a lamb and to place the blood on the doorposts. So when the death angel came and saw blood on the doorposts the death angel passed over that house and the child was safe. The day of atonement or the passover is the day that this was reenacted by the chief priest. In Leviticus 16 the instructions were given on how to carry out the day of atonement. Two goats were chosen and one was sacrificed while the other had hands laid on him for the sins of Israel to be sent away into the wilderness. The goat sent into the wilderness was called the scapegoat.
All of what happened in the temple was a foreshadowing of the real to come. John 1:29 mouthed these words when Jesus arrived to be baptized, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Isaiah is giving us the details of Jesus suffering as the sin offering to justify many. It is a prophecy that was fulfilled when Jesus came and went to the cross. Scholars agree that this is a picture of crucifixion which was not even in use during Isaiah’s time. God through Isaiah even includes the prayer of Christ on the cross, “...and made intercession for the transgressors.” 12.d. Isaiah is truly a prophetic book and especially here in Isaiah 52:13-53:12.
Jesus entered Jerusalem on the first day of the week, our Sunday to celebrate Passover. Little did anyone know except Jesus that this would be the last passover meal since Jesus was the real Lamb of God. Jesus that night at the passover meal. That night at the passover meal Jesus instituted the Lord’s supper. We now look back to a completed work as Jesus said, “It is finished.” We are once and for all set free from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and one day the presence of sin. There are no more sacrifices to make. We have much to celebrate on this Good Friday with a reverent attitude.
Personal reflection questions:
Give some time to thanksgiving and praise for a God who loves us so much that He gave His only begotten son for us.
With so great a sacrifice for us and the world, perhaps God would impress upon you some people to invite to watch our Good Friday service at 12 and 6 today. Maybe invite them as well to our online Easter services.
We will be asking everyone at the end of the Good Friday service to join us in taking online communion. Wine or grape juice and some bread or crackers. Please be preparing your heart now for this time together.
Family discussion questions:
What is the biggest sacrifice you have ever made?
What does Christ’s sacrifice for you mean to you?
If you are with a parent or some family members please prepare for our time of communion today at 12 and 6 pm. (bread or crackers, wine or grape juice) Make ready your heart as well so we can experience God in a greater way.
Remember this is Friday, but Sunday's coming!
Friday, April 10
Isaiah 53:10-12 (NIV)
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Jesus came to earth to suffer and die for us because we sin. Today, as Good Friday, is a sad day if we only focus on today. Jesus went through a lot on Good Friday; he suffered and was in a lot of pain. We do need to take some time to think about that. It was a huge sacrifice for us.
What does sacrifice mean? God gave up his Son; that is a big sacrifice. Have you ever sacrificed anything? What did you sacrifice? How did that make you feel? Share with your kids what sacrifices you may have made. What did you learn from those sacrifices?
Gather some coins from around your house and make a cross using those coins. I’ve attached a picture to show you an example. Let this remind you that Jesus gave up a lot for us when he died on that cross. Or draw a scene of the 3 crosses on the hill as your reminder that Jesus died on that cross.
Here is a link to a YouTube video for the kids about Jesus sacrifice.
Let’s say a prayer to thank God again for sacrificing his Son to save us. Let us reflect on what God gave up and how difficult that must have been. Let’s also look to Sunday because we know how this story goes…Jesus rises and wins our ultimate victory for us.