2009 years ago really isn’t that long when you think about it. I’ve been thinking about it a lot today. I can’t stop thinking about it.
Do you know what was happening 2009 years ago right now? Jesus, a 33-year-old man from Nazareth, was on trial. It’s 8:37 am, which means at this moment He was probably standing in front of Pilate, the governor of Rome, listening to people bring all kinds of different accusations against Him.
He had spent the evening before having dinner with his closest friends and then trying to help them understand what was going to happen today. He had stayed up all night, begging God to make some other way for what He knew had to happen. When Judas showed up and kissed Him, He called him “Friend,” with full knowledge of what Judas was doing.
It struck me this morning that what happened 2009 years ago in a little country near the Mediterranean Sea, was so significant – so momentous – that we determine our calendar by it. I mean, think about it. Isn’t it incredible that no matter how hard someone tries to deny the significance of Jesus’ death – no matter how “atheist” they claim to be – every single time they refer to the date, they are recognizing Him, whether they realize it or not? I love it.
I’ve been a Christian for most of my life. This is the 31st time I’ve celebrated Easter. Somehow, though, I’ve never understood the significance of this day. It was always just a day off of school or work. I have always wondered why we call it “good” Friday when Sunday was the day we celebrated. But somehow, for some reason, this year is different.
I finally understand. It is good. No, actually it’s GREAT! It’s FANTASTIC. It’s EARTH-SHAKING. It’s TREMENDOUS. I don’t think the right adjective exists to adequately describe this day.
Today is the day Jesus died. FOR ME.
If it weren’t for a series of seemingly everyday events that happened on the other side of the world a couple thousand years ago – events whose significance is almost always seriously, tragically underestimated – I’d be lost.
THAT is why this Friday is good.
I wonder what that Friday was like. What was the weather like? Was the sun shining or was it overcast? Was the wind blowing? What was that day like for those who were watching history unfold? Did they understand what was happening? What was it like for Mary and Joseph? How about for James, Jesus’ brother?
I could sit here and think about this all day long.
You know what?
I have the day off. I think I will.