Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Real Black Friday

I simply love this time of year.  Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.  Taking a specific time out of the year, and yes away from work, to do nothing more than to be thankful for all that God has blessed me with.  I also enjoy this time of year because I was born on Thanksgiving day.  It always seems nice to mix the turkey, dressing, and all the fixings with birthday cake!  And as much as I had dreaded my next birthday this year (saying goodbye to my 20's), I felt the need to look at my life and see all the ways that I had been blessed these 30 years.  And with those blessings in mind, look to the future at what God may have in store for me in the next 30 years.  I am truly thankful for all the things that I have been blessed with.  Most importantly, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is my Lord and Savior.  Now I know you may be thinking, where is he going with this since to post is titled about this coming Friday.

Psalms 95:1-3
"O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.  Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.  For the Lord is a great God, And a great King above all gods,"

It is an odd thing to me at what happens this time of year.  Now I will admit that my wife and I do get a lot of shopping done on the day after Thanksgiving.  But we do not let it take away from the joy of this time of year like many people do.  It is amazing that the people in this country that I love will spend an entire day being thankful for what they have, and the next day act like rabid animals to try to secure what they want.  It just seems peculiar to me.  Now I am not including everyone in this, because I have friends that view it just the same way I do.  It is a good chance to get a lot of gift shopping done for a low price.  My wife and I usually make a date day out of it.  A time to enjoy being with each other away from the kids.  But for a lot of people, where is the thanks?  The only conclusion that I can come to is the lack of Christ in their lives.  One who is truly saved has the mindset of the psalm above.  Singing, whether aloud or just in our hearts, for the joy that we have in our salvation through Christ Jesus.  These are one of the things that should be foremost in our minds, not just one day a year in Thanksgiving, and then truly forgotten the day after.  So I would like to turn attention to what I feel is the real Black Friday of Christianity.

Luke 23:33-49
"When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”  It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things."

I will be honest with you.  I was lead to this idea over Facebook last night.  My wife found a picture on Facebook referring to this idea, and when I checked my own page, I found that quite a few on my friends list had shared it as well. These events that took place on a Friday are the fundamental basis for all that we as Christians should be thankful for.  For if it were not for his death on the cross, we would have no hope of eternal life.  He paid the ultimate price for us as a gift of life.

Romans 6:22-23
" But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." 

Our life no longer belongs to us.  By being declared sanctified, and receiving eternal life through His sacrifice we must become slaves to His will.  Now I know that term "slave" is not a popular one.  However, it is repeated all throughout the scriptures.  Some versions have made it sound nicer by using the phrase bond-servent.  But the original Greek word there in those places is literally translated to slave.  Which, in essence means that we live to serve Him.  It does not matter how it may affect our live styles and the things that we want.  It is all about Him.  And if it were not for Him, we would all go to Hell.  As Paul wrote to the church at Rome above, the wages of sin is death.  Death is the only payment option valid for the sin in our lives.  Jesus paid that price for us.  And for that, we should be forever thankful.  Thankful that we have the opportunity to go to heaven when our time comes.  It is the only way.

It is my prayer that I and those around me will be thankful everyday for this gift, not just this Thursday.  However, I also pray that each of you that read this make it a point on Thursday when you are with family and friends celebrating this time, that you would openly voice your thanks for the sacrifice that was made for you on the Christian Black Friday.  Even if you have family there that are not believers.  What greater opportunity does that provide us to share the gospel with those who do not believe.

Thanks for reading, and I hope that you have a very enjoyable and "Thankful" Thanksgiving.  May God Bless you all!

No comments:

Post a Comment