John Stonestreet: Remember to Stop, Reflect, and Pray This Good Friday

Tomorrow is Good Friday. Hundreds of millions of Christians around the world will observe the day Jesus was nailed to the cross to save us from our sins.

For many, it is a day of fasting. Of silence. Of prayer and contemplation. And that is as it should be.

After several weeks of Lenten fasts and disciplines, many of us are eager for the celebration of Easter. But as Fr. Richard John Neuhaus observed, we’re far too quick to rush past the Triumphal Entry, the Last Supper, and the events of Good Friday. The only way to Sunday is through, not around, the important events of this week, especially Good Friday.

Let me be clear, however. No Christian ought dwell on Friday as if we don’t know what happens three days later. “Sunday’s a-comin’,” said that great African-American preacher, describing that brilliant new day which awaits confused disciples, triumphant religious authorities, and that angry mob.

Sunday is not a maybe for us Christians. Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed. Thus, we won’t rightly understand anything from the Creation and the Fall of the world to the birth, life, miracles, words, or last week of Jesus Christ without having His resurrection fully in view.

Søren Kierkegaard once observed that life is lived forward and can only be understood backward. As we remember the events of Holy Week, we have an advantage that Christ’s first followers did not. We look backward. Not only that, we also have the benefit of watching the shift in the disciple’s perspective from looking forward to looking backward.

Peter’s sermon at Pentecost offers the very first, clear, Holy Spirit-led, backward-looking exposition of Holy Week events. The punchline of that rhetorical tour de force in Acts 2 is this unequivocal claim: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified” (Acts 2:36).

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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet