Spring seems to bring a round of special occasions and invitations. There are weddings, showers, graduations, and other events that take place before many of us disperse for summer. In our family, we have a round of birthdays coming up, but come to think of it, every month is birthday month in our big family. You may be receiving invitations to one event or another every week. But I wonder if you have ever been uninvited?
Have you ever heard about a party or special event and wondered, “Why wasn’t I included?” You may wonder why you are not an A-lister or part of the in crowd. Why are you left out? Maybe you are the wrong color or gender; maybe you wear the wrong clothes, or don’t live in the right neighborhood or drive the right car. And the big lie you believe: “You are not good enough!” If you buy into that lie, I wonder if you have ever worn yourself out trying to get good enough. It’s exhausting.
I was thinking about these things this morning, Good Friday. It is always the heaviest, hardest day of the year for me as I remember how Jesus suffered. But in many ways it is the best day of the year. I guess that is why it is Good Friday. Because of today I am invited to a party like no other. John writes about it in the Book of Revelation. I can’t think of enough superlatives to describe it, so I will compare it to another big event that is coming up. And no, I am definitely not invited to this one! In a few weeks the world is going to witness the big elaborate coronation of King Charles. England will pull out all her jewels and pageantry. But it will pale in comparison to the coronation of King Jesus. I am invited! And my invitation came because of Good Friday.
In every other religion I can think of, man has to work himself up to a god. Keep enough laws, do enough good things, stay away from all the “don’ts” and then maybe, he will be good enough to reach his god or whatever form of peaceful place he has imagined. Christianity is the only religion (and I hate that word) where God comes down to man. God says, and I paraphrase, you can’t get good enough to reach me; you can’t do enough good things to be in relationship (better word) with me. You are separated from me because you are sinful and I am holy. So I will come down to you. I will come in the form of a human, live a sinless life, and suffer and die on a cross to pay for your sins. I will make a way, and it is the only way because without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin (Heb. 9:22). And not only that, I am going to conquer death by rising from the grave and going back to Heaven to prepare a place for you.
Here is the invitation: “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Rev. 3:20). You may be wondering how to RSVP to your invitation. All you must do is agree with God that you are a sinner, believe that Christ died for your sins and ask for forgiveness. Then turn away from your sins. If you would like to open your heart to Jesus on this Good Friday, you can pray something like this. The words are not what are important; it is the attitude of your heart.
Lord, I confess to you that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died
for my sin and that you raised Him to life.
I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord,
from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will.
I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”