We call the Friday following Thanksgiving “Black Friday” because retailers open their doors with big sales intended to lure in Christmas shoppers. These sales are a major source of annual income for retailers, and can be the difference between getting their finances in the black (meaning they made a profit for the year), or ending the year in the red (having a net loss). However, the first black Friday was when Jesus died on the cross at noon and the sun refused to shine. God’s gift was our gain, and because of the red that Jesus bled on that Friday, we can end our lives in the black, in the positive rather than the negative. Jesus paid our debt with His own blood and ransomed us from sin.
When it comes to knowing one’s purpose, Jesus knew that He was born to die for the sins of the world and rise from the grave three days later. He knew victory over death was ahead of Him and that He would be restored to His full glory at the right hand of His Heavenly Father. But He also knew that the path to the empty tomb and His exaltation would lead Him through the shame and humiliation of the cross.
Roman soldiers had no affection for the Jewish people, so being given permission to mock and crucify a Jewish man was an opportunity they relished and took a sick pleasure in executing. As such, they intended to fully humiliate Jesus before nailing Him to the cross. Part of the humiliation involved mocking Jesus as a king. This is why they clothed Him in a purple robe or cloth, which was the color of royalty, and made a crown of twisted thorns, which was intended as a mock crown but also to inflect pain when they pressed it down upon His head.
That was Friday … but Sunday’s coming. Sometimes things go from bad to worse before they get better. Sometimes innocent people suffer and life seems cruel and unfair, but hang on because the story isn’t over. You may feel like things have gone from bad to worse, but God isn’t finished writing your story, and you’re just getting to the good part.
As believers, we have been forgiven and continue to be forgiven as we confess and repent for our failures. We have been forgiven because through the cross, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Is 1:18). If we believe the promises of God, and if we have faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on an old rugged cross, then we should not allow Satan to beat us over the head with our past. I once heard someone say, “When Satan tries to remind me of my past, I remind him of his future.”
The world needs to hear this testimony of Jesus. Many argue that Jesus was not God in the flesh, nor was He the very Son of God. But Jesus said, “I AM.” He is the great I AM. When we need a Savior, Jesus says, “I AM!” When we need a healer, Jesus says, “I AM!” When we need a friend that sticks closer than a brother, Jesus says, “I AM!” When we need an Advocate with the Father, Jesus says, “I AM!” When we need the Good Shepherd, when we need the door and gate, when we need the way, the truth, and the life, when we need the bread of life, Jesus says, “I AM!”
Without the covering of salvation in the name of Jesus, we are running naked in the night, but the call of the Father is to come home and let Him cover us. This is the reason Jesus went to face His accusers and to offer His life as a ransom for many.
We might wonder if God knows how we feel in those moments, after all, He is Almighty God and we are but finite specs of dust against the backdrop of the universe. How could He possibly know the pain of rejection, betrayal, and abandonment that we know?
Jesus was telling the Apostles—men He had handpicked and personally trained—that they would stumble. That did not mean that He was through with them, but it does mean that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is able to resurrection our faith, pick us up after we’ve stumbled, and get us back on the right road to everlasting life.
the lamb was not mentioned by the Gospel writers because Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Re 13:8). All other Passover lambs throughout the history of Israel were merely placeholders in time awaiting fulfillment in Jesus Christ. It was not the blood of lambs, rams, goats, or calves that could save. It is only the blood of Jesus Christ applied to the doorposts of our hearts that cleanses us of sin, defeats death, and gives us eternal life.