WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24
“Jesus said, “It’s done . . . complete.” Bowing His head, He offered up His Spirit.”
John 19:30 (MSG)
GOD’S RESCUE PLAN: GOOD FRIDAY
Ever since the 1950s, the men of the Philippines have had unusual tradition around Easter. It has grown to the point where from 50,000 to 75,000 people attend every year. The ritual that has drawn all these tourists to the Philippines is an odd and gruesome Good Friday reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ. A group of men who refer to themselves as the “kristos” allow themselves to be beaten with rods and whipped. Approximately 500 men each year are physically beaten as Jesus was. Then each year a handful of men and women volunteer to have their hands and feet nailed to a wooden cross (which is fitted with a foot rest for them to stand on) and they hang for a period that can last anywhere from a few minutes up to an hour. At that point they are taken down and transferred to a medical tent where their wounds are treated and they receive tetanus shots.
Although this symbolic gesture may be done from a heart of wanting to express gratitude or worship, it is unnecessary. We learned in Sunday’s sermon that Jesus said, “It is finished” Just before He died on the cross. That phrase was also an accounting term that meant a debt had been satisfied or paid. On the first Good Friday, when they crucified Jesus, our sin debt was paid. We don’t have to be crucified or do anything else to pay for our sins.
This past year our church celebrated paying off our financial debt. Most of us stood and shouted, “We’re debt free,” for a video that we sent to Dave Ramsey. When we repent of our sins and place our faith in Jesus we become spiritually debt free. Can you remember when that happened in your life spiritually? Think about all the sins you’ve ever committed. Now think about the fact that Jesus has paid for every one of them. When’s the last time you shared your debt free spiritual experience with someone else? Ask God to lead you to someone who needs to know they can be “debt free.”