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“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24


"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, this year 17 men volunteered 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 in space -- between heaven and earth -- for a period that can last anywhere from a few minutes to 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."

For most Christians around the world, today is set aside to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The day is called Good Friday, also known as Passion Friday. In some Christian traditions, today is not called Good Friday. In German, for example, the day is called Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday.” The origin of the phrase “Good Friday” in English remains a mystery. Some people believe it developed from an older name, “God’s Friday.” Notwithstanding the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins.

However, for many people, there is nothing good about this Friday. Countless people are still struggling with COVID-19 and its related effects. Over 17 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in the US alone in the past month. Thousands of lives have been lost. Numerous people are struggling with the monotony from social distancing.

Despite all these challenges, we must take the time to celebrate the crucifixion of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. Indeed, today is Good Friday because we remember that Jesus bore our sins in his body on the cross so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. It is good to know that our eternal destination was changed from hell to heaven because of the death of Christ. “Good Friday is “good” because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter.”

On this day, Christians acknowledge that Jesus paid a debt he did not owe because we owe a debt we cannot pay. It is good to know that when this life is over, we will live forevermore. We do not need to simulate the crucifixion of Christ as some people in the Philippines do, to show our appreciation for Jesus’ death at Calvary. Jesus was crucified, so we do not have to be crucified. What we can and should do is share the good news about our resurrected Lord with the world.

So whether we are infected with Coronavirus or lost our employment, mourning the loss of a loved one or struggling with the boredom of having to stay at home because of COVID-19, we yet have to rejoice for the shed blood of Christ at Calvary. It is good to know that God so loved the world he gave his only Begotten Son so we may all have eternal life (John 3:16).

Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for washing our sins with the blood of your Only Begotten Son at Calvary. May we never forget the price that was paid and the gift of eternal that Jesus offers to those who acknowledge Him as the crucified and risen Savior of the world.

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