It is a normal Friday. I wake up at 9:30 and get ready to rush to Liberty University’s convocation, finally relieved to be done with the week and head into the weekend. Now it’s 11:30, convocation has just let out and I leave with my friend to get some tea and catch up. Then I hop on a bus to another part of campus to catch lunch before my class. The bus is crowded and smells a bit weird, but the drive is short and I hop off and rush to the food court where my roommates already have a table. I have been up for 4 hours now. We talk about our classes so far, joke around, make plans for the weekend, etc. After lunch, I get back on the bus to go to my class. I make it just in time as the professor starts the lecture. We finish up at 3:30 and I am now free for the rest of the day. I am done with my 6 hours on one typical Friday.
However, today is not a typical Friday. Christians call it Good Friday, although what happened was far from good. The Son of God was hung on a cross. He bled and hurt and spent 6 hours up on the cross before He died. For 6 hours He hung there in humiliation, suffering the worse death created by man. Crucifixion was meant to not just kill you, but to make you suffer for a long and horrible time. It was meant to show that Rome was in power, and this was what happened to those who crossed them. The one who created all them, who had the ultimate power over the entire universe had to endure all this. The one who was most high suffered the death of the least of us, a death we all earned through sin.
Jesus was perfect. Not once in his whole life did he ever turn away from God or do anything wrong. This did not always look like what the people of that time thought. Pharisees hated him, priests feared his power of the people, but sinners? The broken wrongdoers? They loved him. He came for all of them though. Christ came to bear the penalty we all earned by going away from God. He lived the perfect life we never could, but stepped in and took our penalty. The people had the law of the Old testament. They thought they could make themselves perfect but the law presents a standard of holiness we can only dream of living. That’s why Christ came and lived it for us. He did this because he loved us.
One of the more prominent verses in the Bible is John 3:16. Little kids memorize from an early age, this verse of the gospel. “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.” Read that again. God sent his only Son, so perfect and holy, into the suffering and death that we deserved. All so we could be with him forever. This is the grandest of love stories, for there is no greater love than this.
Instead of sitting in a crowded bus, we deserved the vile sponge held to our lips. Instead of the seats we might think are uncomfortable in class, we deserve the wood to be hung on. Instead of laughing with friends we deserve the ridicule and slander. We should take the nails over the food, the pain of the world instead of wondering what we might do on a Friday night. That is the 6 hours I earned by walking away from God.
But Christ stepped in. He saved us. He endured the worst of the worst so we could spend eternity with God and be free from sin. We still will struggle. We still will fall. But claiming Christ as our Savior means that we now have the freedom to leave our burdens at the cross. This is where Good Friday leaves us. Standing on blood soaked ground at the feet of the cross where we are free to leave our sin. We can leave our depression, our anxieties, our hopelessness. We can walk away with knowing that we might struggle and waver, but at the end of the day we are free.
If you have any questions, please comment or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are praying for you. You are loved.
I got this idea from Max Lucado’s book by the title 6 hours One Friday.