In our human minds it’s hard to imagine how something like Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on the cross could be seen as good. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories, or maybe seen the movies that depict the gruesome, bloody details of crucifixion. How could this be good? How could a story that ends with the creator being killed by his creation be considered good?
The event that we remember today is arguably the linchpin of human history. Jesus’ death on a cross changed the course of history. Through this event a way was made to God – through this event, the fall of man that happened in the garden was reconciled. I consider four events to be the important events – three of them are said in the memorial acclamation.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith:
Christ has died
Christ has risen
Christ is coming again
I usually say it like this – the Good News is this: Christ has come, Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ is coming again!
In our scripture for today, we look at why the second part of this acclamation is important. During my morning prayer this morning, I read the scripture of all the rules that needed to be followed in order for Aaron not to die while in the Holy of Holies. It was rule, upon rule, upon rule – sacrifices of animals that needed to be made to God. And here in Hebrews 10, the writer helps us understand that Christ’s death on the cross, now takes the place of the priest and the unending sacrifices. No longer do the people need to have their sins forgiven by the priest – no longer do they need an intermediary – no longer is there a need of sacrifices – because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross – because of the blood of Jesus – we can now enter heaven’s most holy place.
When Jesus died, the vale between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies was ripped in two – from top (heaven) to bottom (earth) and forever was the Old Covenant erased. It ushered in the era of the New Covenant. Instead of laws written on stone – God’s laws are written on our hearts – and in our minds.
Jesus is now our High Priest and we can go directly to him – that is the difference that the cross makes – and we can go right into the presence of God. That is what makes today “good.” Christ’s death on the cross gives us hope and we are called to affirm this hope. When we think of Christ’s death on the cross, we should motivate each other on to acts of love and good works. I like how it was originally translated in the New Living Translation – we should motivate each other with “outbursts of love.”
Today we want to focus on the cross. Too many people want to fast forward to the resurrection. Today I will focus on the cross – the price that Christ paid for our sins – today is a solemn assembly. It is a solemn time. To remember…REMEMBER….REMEMBER…the price that was paid for our sins.
I have used this narration during Good Fridays near the end of the service to remind us that today Christ has died…