Summary: What difference does it make whether it’s Good Friday or Easter Sunday? The difference is that Good Friday represents everything AWEFUL in life and Easter Sunday represents everything AWESOME in life.

The CROSS GRIEVED the disciples. They were GRIEVED because of Christ’s death. Had He died by accident or from robbers they could have accepted it. But to voluntarily SURRENDER to His enemies just didn’t make sense. His death seemed so senseless, so futile, so wasteful. It could have been avoided, but He chose, to die.

The disciples had seen Jesus perform many miracles. They had seen him raise people from the dead. They knew He could have saved Himself if He wanted to. But He didn’t. He actually let them kill Him.

No more would they walk the Galilean hillside, sail that little sea, or walk with Him down the streets of Jerusalem. No more would they share with Him this bread of life. All that was over now, ended --- by the BLOWS of a ROMAN SOLDIER driving SPIKES through Jesus’ hands and feet into a cross of wood. Their relationship with Jesus of Nazareth was over.

The CROSS SHAMED the disciples because of their COWARDICE. They knew Jesus had not received justice from the Sanhedrin or Pilate. They SHOULD have done SOMETHING. But when JESUS needed them, they lacked the courage to help Him. No doubt that was running through their minds as they stood at a distance and watched JESUS DIE on Calvary. They longed - even wept - for something they didn’t have -COURAGE. They wanted to do something, but they were afraid. When His dead body hung on that cross, they didn’t even try to take it down. COWARDS!

The disciples were cowards and they knew it! They huddled together behind locked doors – AFRAID!

The CROSS - DISAPPOINTED the disciples. They had left home, family, jobs - everything - in the belief that Christ was the MESSIAH. And it turned out that He WASN’T the MESSIAH. They had been following a false dream. They had believed in Him - this Man of Galilee. But no MESSIAH would die on a cross between two criminals. He couldn’t be the Messiah. They had been misled.

The CROSS – DUPED the disciples. It convinced them Christ was not who they thought He was. He had done so much, performed so many miracles, they were so sure that He was the Messiah. He had even said so Himself. BUT - If He were the Messiah, he would not have let Himself be crucified. If He were the Messiah, God would have intervened to stop such a thing from happening. But God didn’t intervene. He WAS crucified! Therefore, He COULD NOT be the Son of God.

The CROSS – CONFUSED the disciples. They had witnessed a glaring example of injustice. And God just let it happen. No JUST God would let such a perfect Man die at the hands of the Romans. Lies, hatred, and prejudice - a just God would have destroyed them - therefore simple logic said there was no just God.

Now the disciples must face the embarrassing humiliation, the ridicule, and the scorn from their countrymen and their enemies. Before - when JESUS was with them, He had always managed to turn their scorn into some eternal truth. Before - when JESUS was with them, they had been PROUD to be HIS FOLLOWERS. But now He was DEAD, and the Scribes and Pharisees were correct. Wherever they went for the rest of their lives, people would laugh and sneer at them. They would carry this humiliation with them as long as they lived. These disciples had taken a great gamble to follow this NAZARENE. They had staked everything on Him - and God had let them down. Nothing they could ever do would remove this blemish on their life. They were doomed, as long as they lived, to be known as the followers of this CRUCIFIED ONE.

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