Summary: Contrasts how we are living in this world.
Easter 2006: Easter People Living In A Good Friday World
Scripture: Mark Chapters 14-16
This morning we celebrate one of the most important of Christian holidays, Easter. Christianity rests on the foundation that Christ died and was resurrected. The celebration of His resurrection not only reminds us of the price He paid for us on the cross, but the greatest gift that He made available to us, eternal life. This morning my Easter message is simply this, we live in a Good Friday world but we are Easter People. Turn with me to Mark chapter 15.
I. Good Friday World
Before we read some verses in Mark, I want to give you a quick reminder as to how we got to what happened on particular Friday some 2000 years ago. It all started when Judas, one of Christ’s disciples and one that He trusted, made the decision to betray Christ for 30 pieces of silver. His act of betrayal set in motions a series of events that can only be described as traumatic. Good Friday is known as the day of suffering, Christ suffering, which led to our salvation. Through Christ’s suffering, mankind was given direct access to God. But I want you to really think about what happened on that Friday. When you think about what Christ went through, all of the suffering at the hands of His fellow man, and what that Friday came to be known as, think of our world today. We are living in a Good Friday world, a world that endorses suffering, pain and violence.
What exactly do I mean by the statement that we are living in a Good Friday world? Let me explain. There were several things that happened on Good Friday that characterizes things that happens daily in our world. Follow along with me as we look at a few Scripture in Mark the 15th Chapter.
Verses 1, 3-5, 15-19, 22-24a
"Very early in the morning the leading priests, other leaders, and teachers of religious law, the entire high council, met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus and took Him to Pilate, the Roman governor….Then the leading priests accused Him of many crimes and Pilate asked him, ’Aren’t you going to say something? What about all these charges against you?’ But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate surprise….So Pilate, anxious to please the crowd, released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned Him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify Him. And the soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. And they dressed Him up in purple and after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; and they began to acclaim Him, ’Hail, king of the Jews1’ And they kept beating His head with a reed and spitting at Him and kneeling and bowing before Him…And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. And they tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He did not take it. And they crucified Him, and divided up His garment among themselves." (NASB)
When the religious leaders met early the morning after they had arrested Jesus to decide what to do with Him, they decided that they wanted Him dead. Since they could not do it, they took Him before Pilate. Pilate sensing that something was wrong and that Jesus really had not done anything worthy of death, listened to all of the charges brought against Jesus. He was amazed when Jesus said nothing in His own defense. When Pilate tried to release Jesus, the crowd would not support His release so Pilate turned Him over to be crucified. Before Jesus was crucified, He was to be beaten with a lead-tipped whip, one which would tear his body to shreds. This is the first of Jesus suffering. He was falsely accused and no one stood up in His defense and He was found guilty. He was sentenced to death, although He was innocent and no one tried to win His freedom. In preparation for His crucifixion, He was beaten. What happened to Jesus on that Friday, His suffering at the hands of His fellow man continues to happen today. You see, in a Good Friday world, people will falsely accuse you in order to get what you have. When others see you going through these things, knowing you do not deserve the treatment, they will not do anything to help you. In a Good Friday world it is every man for himself; people will beat you, physically, emotionally and spiritually and get enjoyment out of it. It does not matter whether you ever done anything to them or not, you are their outlet. It’s a Good Friday world where suffering is the buzz word of the day.