He himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. I Peter 2:24
The St. Patrick’s Day quiz was so popular, and so many of you said you learned something new, I thought I’d see what y’all know about Good Friday…
#1. When Jesus was arrested, which of the following did NOT happen?
A. All the soldiers arresting Him fell down.
B. A rooster crowed.
C. He healed someone.
D. A man ran away naked.
#2. True or false: Before the stone was rolled away from Jesus’ tomb, many other tombs were opened.
#3. At the moment when Jesus died, something was torn in two. What was it, and what was its significance?
#1. B – Jesus had said that before the rooster crowed, Peter would deny Him three times. The predicted denials took place at later times during the night, before the rooster crowed. The other three things happened at the time Jesus was arrested:
A. According to John 18:6, when Jesus told the soldiers looking for Jesus of Nazareth, “I am He,” “They drew back and fell to the ground.”
C. According to Luke 22:51, after Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, “… Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.”
D. According to Mark 14:50, as Jesus was being arrested, “everyone deserted him and fled.” Mark 14:51-52 tell us that “A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.” Some scholars believe this was the gospel writer, Mark himself.
#2. True. According to Matthew 27: 51b- 53, “The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”
#3. The curtain of the temple that shut off the Most Holy Place. According to Matthew 27:50-51a, “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” This was the curtain that separated a holy God from men. The only person permitted to enter the “most holy place” was the high priest, and whoever held that office was only allowed to enter once each year, when he came to offer a blood sacrifice to atone for the sins that the people had committed that year. Hebrews 9 has a beautiful explanation of how Jesus, our High Priest, offered Himself as our sacrifice, paying for our sins with His own body. When the sacrifice was complete, the barrier between Man and God was removed.
If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, the barrier between you and God has been removed, and you can approach your heavenly Father as His child, without a priest or saint, or angel, or any go-between. He’s as near as your next prayer. You can enjoy the relationship Jesus bought for you with such a heavy price.
If you are not a follower of Jesus, if you have not yet acknowledged Him as your Savior, the barrier of your sin is still there. I know, that sounds presumptuous and judgmental, referring to your sin. But “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) so that includes you – and me. And “the wages of sin is death” – That’s eternal death. – “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
You can accept that gift today. You can change your spiritual state in a moment with a simple prayer. Maybe you’ve known this but have been putting off the decision for one reason or another. What better time than Good Friday to make the choice that will transform your life – and your eternity? Today’s prayer is one you may want to pray:
Jesus, thank You for dying in my place. I believe You took the punishment for my sins, and that You were raised from the dead. Today I am placing my faith in You as my Savior. Thank you for sacrificing Yourself so that I could have the gift of forgiveness and a new life. Help me now to live out the life You created me to live. Thank you for the promise of eternal life with You. Amen