“Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.” John 16:20
If the title of this post looks familiar to you, it’s because S. M. Lockridge (1913-2000), a prominent African-American preacher, preached a sermon by that name that has moved people, stirred their passion, and given them hope for years. Author and speaker Tony Campolo was so moved by Lockridge’s words that he has been sharing the message with his audiences and written a book by that name.
Even though the circumstances in the world have changed, the power of the Cross hasn’t, and the hope of the Resurrection remains timeless. Today of all days, let’s remember the incredible LOVE that was extended to us on that gruesome Friday so long ago, ponder its meaning, and share it with our loved ones.
Here is an excerpt from that famous sermon, as relevant as ever, followed by my “updated” 2020 version of the conclusion:
It’s Friday. Jesus is praying. Peter’s a sleeping. Judas is betraying. But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. Pilate’s struggling. The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying. They don’t even know That Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The disciples are running Like sheep without a shepherd. Mary’s crying. Peter is denying. But they don’t know That Sunday’s a comin’.
It’s Friday. The Romans beat my Jesus. They robe him in scarlet. They crown him with thorns. But they don’t know That Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary. His blood dripping. His body stumbling. And his spirit’s burdened. But you see, it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The world’s winning. People are sinning. And evil’s grinning.
It’s Friday. The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands To the cross. They nail my Savior’s feet
To the cross. And then they raise him up Next to criminals. It’s Friday. But let me tell you something Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The disciples are questioning. What has happened to their King. And the Pharisees are celebrating That their scheming Has been achieved. But they don’t know It’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. He’s hanging on the cross. Feeling forsaken by his Father. Left alone and dying Can nobody save him? Ooooh It’s Friday. But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The earth trembles. The sky grows dark. My King yields his spirit. It’s Friday. Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered. and Satan’s just a laughin’.
It’s Friday. Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard. And a rock is rolled into place. But it’s Friday. It is only Friday. Sunday is a comin’! *
2020: It’s Friday. An invisible enemy has invaded nation after nation. The peoples of the world are terrified. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Once booming cities are all but empty. London, New York, and Paris are ghost towns. Italy is a graveyard. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. People are isolated from loved ones, separated by glass, social distancing, and fear. Smiles are hidden behind masks. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Hospitals are filled to capacity. Medical staff look like ghosts. They try to extend compassion through masks, gloves, gowns, face shields, and their own anxieties. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Families are devastated, losing loved ones without saying good-bye, mourning without funerals, grieving without comfort. Unless they know that Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Jews are commemorating another time they were hidden in their homes, shielded from the Angel of Death by the blood of a spotless lamb on their doors. Again they are awaiting their liberation, watching and waiting for the second Moses, the promised Messiah. He has come! And He is coming back! (Sunday’s coming.)
It’s Friday. Christians are remembering the spotless Lamb of God, betrayed, arrested, beaten, mocked, spit on, nailed to a cross and left to die, the Lamb whose blood saves us from eternal death. (Sunday’s coming.)
It’s Friday. Skeptics and scoffers are shaking their fists at a God they claim not to believe in. They mock believers – “He’s coming back? You people have been saying that for almost 2000 years!” … almost. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Some are wondering if these are the end times. Some are predicting the end of the world. Some have given up hope. But don’t give up hope – Sunday’s coming!
So, now it’s 2021. Has anything changed in the past year? Are we still anxious to “get back to normal”? Are we willing to do anything it takes to get there?
Or are we realizing that “normal” is overrated? Is “normal” even possible any more? Is the world spinning out of control? (Have we ever been in control?)
It’s Friday. “Has God forgotten us?” some are asking. Others are wondering, “Is He mad at us? Does He hate us? Have we gone too far?”
YES, we have sinned, YES we are all guilty, YES, we desperately need forgiveness, but He has paid for our sins on the Cross, so we can be FORGIVEN and receive eternal life!
Does God still love us? Look at the Lamb of God, sacrificed for you.
(YES, He loves us!)
He has not fallen off His throne! He is in control! He knows things we don’t, and He tells us to trust Him. Death is not the end! He is coming back. Whatever the world, the flesh, or the devil are telling us, we need to keep looking to Him, knowing that
SUNDAY IS COMING.
Enjoy my new favorite song that I played (and sang) countless times in the past year, which seems very relevant today: