Word From the Center: Friday, March 30, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” FRIDAY, a Two-Kingdom, practical reflection on the issues of the day from the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s issue…

Good Friday – God’s Ultimate Work for Our Eternal Liberty and Life

Today is one of the holiest, if not the holiest day, in the worship life of the Christian Churches around the world. Why? Jesus words on the Cross, “It is finished.” On that first Good Friday, God is at work in the world to save it… it’s done! On the Cross, Jesus takes our sins upon Himself so that His holiness could be ours as a gift by grace through faith in Him. (Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 for an even clearer proclamation of that fact). That’s God at work in the world, ultimately, to save it!

Now, I know that today is supposed to be a Two Kingdom “reflection from the Center, the LCRL,” about the events of the day… so let’s talk about the events of this very day. Today, millions of Christians around the world are gathering to commemorate the death of Jesus the Christ and all that it means for life, now and forever. Worshipping Christ on a day like Good Friday is saying quite a lot about how we see and participate in this world as Christ’s people for others. As believers then…

  1. We know that God is at work in the world, two ways, to bless and ultimately to save. He is the one who is at work through the vocations in this created world (mothers, fathers, business people, public servants, etc.), to preserve this world and to keep it from totally unraveling due to our lack of virtue and ever-present vice. But, even that work, as muddled as it can seem at times, is for His greater work of reconciling and redeeming this sinful world (all people), through the person and work of Jesus. God is at work, two distinct ways to bless, and ultimately to save.
  2. Good Friday, then, is the culmination of God’s ultimate, saving work, in the middle of the muddle of this world, for all to see.

That should give us pause. All this happened, in the middle of the muddle, when the whole political and justice systems broke down. Have you ever thought about that? Pilate could have come to his senses and done the right thing about Jesus. The religious leaders could have listened to some of the dissenting voices in their midst and let Jesus be Jesus. Maybe they could have jumped on board! And, the people who knew Jesus well, might have suddenly had the courage to stand up on His behalf, possibly changing the outcome of the kangaroo court that day. From our viewpoint, the whole political, justice systems of the land failed Jesus. From our perspective, that first Good Friday was a bleak day for so many reasons. And yet, even then, God was at work. Even then, all things were in His control. And today we know that the crucified One “lives and reigns to all eternity, and He will come again to judge the living and the dead.”

So, this Good Friday, whether you think the justice systems of our land are doing rightly, or are completely out of control; whether you think the political system has let you down, or is going in the right direction at the moment; whether your own person life is fairly balanced today, or in need of a radical change, know this… Even as we engage the things in this world, remember that Life is ultimately about God at work for you in Jesus through His cross and resurrection. And, even when you think things can’t possibly get any worse… look to the Cross and trust the fact that God is always at work THERE for you. The LCRL exists to protect the Church’s right to publicly proclaim this message for all, until Christ comes again. I pray that this truth, that God is at work to bless and ultimately to save, sometimes despite all that’s going on… I pray that news give you peace this Good Friday and always.

 

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