To the casual observer there was nothing unusual about these six hours.
(It) was a normal Friday. Six hours of routine. Six hours of the expected.
Six hours. One Friday.
Six hours filled with, as are all hours, the mystery of life.
God is on a cross. The creator of the universe is being executed.
Spit and blood are caked to his cheeks, and his lips are cracked and swollen. Thorns rip his scalp. His lungs scream with pain. His legs knot with cramps. Taut nerves threaten to snap as pain twangs her morbid melody. Yet, death is not ready. And there is no one to save him, for he is sacrificing himself.
Six hours. One Friday.
Those six hours were no normal six hours. They were the most critical hours in history. For during those six hours on that Friday, God embedded in the earth three anchor points sturdy enough to withstand any hurricane.
These excerpts from Max Lucado’s book, Six Hours One Friday, speak to the true meaning of the cross. Of Jesus’ crucifixion. Of how extra ordinary those six hours really were. How they changed the course of human history. Forever!
They also remind me that there are really no ordinary days. Friday or otherwise. God’s hand is in all. God’s alive. Working. Watching. Willing. Making His presence felt. Carrying out His purpose. Waiting on those who will come to the cross.
Here are my thoughts on Lucado’s three anchor points.
#1 My Life is Not Futile. We often wonder if our lives really count. We ponder. Why am I here? What am I do be doing? What can I offer? Am I making a difference?
For many people today life seems pointless. Empty. Futile. Sure, there are some who are prospering. Living well. Enjoying the “good life.” But for many in our world life is a dreary burden. And even some who are well off, reach a point and ask, “Is this all there is?” They wonder, “Isn’t life more than just money? And things? And pleasure?”
And the answer is a resounding, YES!
Jesus is the anchor of your soul. In a crazy, mixed up, messed up world, Jesus offer purpose. Direction. Focus. He is the way. The Truth The Life. (Jn. 14:6).
#2 My Failures are Not Fatal. Who hasn’t failed? I failed my drivers test the first time at 16. I failed a science course and had to repeat it. I’ve failed my parents. My wife. My children. I’ve had financial failure. Most of all there have been times that I’ve failed my Lord.
But, I’m not unique. Everyone has experienced failure. I’ve had people come into my office carrying the burden of their failure. Unfaithfulness. Drunkenness. Immorality. Abuse.
The good news is that our failures are not fatal. God hasn’t given up on us. He is willing to forgive. His mercy is universal. He grace is free for all. His love is unconditional. His blood will cleanse.
#3 My Death is Not Final. I’ve conducted many funerals. They all contain an element of sadness. Sorrow. Tears. Some more so than others. Some grieve in the face of a tragic death. Unexpected. Unnecessary. Unprepared for. Yet, we know that one day all of us will die.
It seems at times the devil has the upper hand. Lucado calls him “the bully on the block.” Indeed he is. Or at least it seems.
But Satan doesn’t have the final word. Jesus proved it. His words to Martha ring in our ears. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, shall live. And who lives, and believes in me shall never die.”
Yet on Friday Jesus’ life seemed futile. His mission failed. His crucifixion nailed it shut.
Ahh, but Sunday came! Early in the morning the Son arose! Triumphant over His foes of futility, failure, and death’s finality.
Thank God for Friday. But shout “Hallelujah” for Sunday when Christ arose!
On Sunday we see accomplishment. Attainment. Victory! Now those six hours make sense! Friday was not futile! Friday was not fruitless! Friday was not a failure!
And what does it mean?
You are important.
Your life counts.
You will live forever.
When Friday doesn’t make any sense. remember that Sunday’s coming!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman