A daily dose of God’s touch in a minute…
Because this Friday is different. It’s Good Friday.
Of course it’s got to be different to be going to church on a Friday but I cannot help but wonder what might be going on in people’s minds. What are they going to church for? What are they hoping, believing and asking?
I woke up early this morning, ready to get to church on time; after all it’s Good Friday.
‘Should I drive up or down the flyover?’ the cab driver asked. ‘Up’ I responded absentmindedly. And soon realized it was a wrong decision. There I was, high up the flyover, caught in a heavy traffic jam while the road beneath the flyover was a shortcut with no traffic that would have got me to church within ten minutes. So here I was, stuck for nearly 45 minutes as we went round and round because of the heavy traffic jam.
What’s worse, the cause of the chaos on the road causing the traffic jam was Good Friday church goers taking out a long procession, proclaiming “Jesus is Lord’ and distributing flyers to everyone on the streets. The flyers depicted brutal images of Jesus and they were also displayed on placards as the procession braving the scorching summer heat marched across the streets in large numbers in an act that seemed to demonstrate what appeared as a strong message to convey their passion and judge those who did not know Jesus.
About five people from the procession tried to forcefully hand me a flyer. I was almost fuming in anger at what I was witnessing. In what way does such open demonstration convey the Love of Jesus? How can such a loud procession convey the core message of what He accomplished on the cross? This bunch of passionate Christians unfortunately seemed to miss the point and instead were causing chaos and blocking traffic. That was my judgment.
Thanks to our overzealous friends, I got to church quite late and as I entered I could sense from the looks I got ‘oh she is so late, even on Good Friday”. That was someone’s judgment of me.
Through it all, I observed the ushers doing their best to direct people to their seats. I saw couple of kids munching on snacks and a few playing quietly. The church going crowd was vast unlike most other days. I walked towards an empty chair, my countenance still reflecting the anger of the traffic jam causing me to be late and I am sure the irritation was showing in my attitude. Just then I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked around and it was one of the ushering girls leading people towards their seats ‘Hi. Come’ She said with a friendly smile. In that instant, I felt the anger or my ego drop suddenly.
I reached the spot she led me to which was a bit ahead in the front and sat down.
As I sat, the Spirit of God began to talk to my heart, telling me that somewhere, somehow everybody is struggling with something or the other. Somewhere, someone is always judging someone.
But what was Jesus up to?
‘Between Friday and Sunday Jesus went to hell and took back from Satan the rights that mankind lost through Adam. He went to hell so that you and I don’t have to. It is the blood of Jesus applied in faith over God’s people that works as a devastating weapon against the work of the evil one’ I heard the preacher’s voice blaring through the sound system and reaching my ears with force.
I continued to listen with rapt attention ‘Therefore stand outside your house and apply the blood of Jesus in faith over your door and door post and speak aloud saying I draw a line here in the Blood of Jesus that no calamity, sickness, accidents and trouble will come upon me, my household or my possessions’ the preacher continued.
As I listened, the preacher took us through many scriptures to prove that God the Father, through the death of His Son Jesus, on the cross redeemed us from sin and pardoned us for good. Therefore if anyone believes in Jesus and confesses their sin is now cleansed, justified and qualified to receive forgiveness and the blessing of God that Adam had lost in the garden of Eden.’ The message from the preacher continued.
The conviction from the message began to sink in. I was now in a mindset to repent from judging others. It became, suddenly easy to forgive those who judged me. A smile swept over me and a warm feeling of love filled my heart. It was like a touch from Jesus. It reminded me of the simplicity and smile that welcomed everyone, regardless of their background or character; the simplicity and smile like the one the dear ushering lady gave me. It felt like a human reflection of Jesus.
‘Somewhere, somehow everybody is struggling with something or the other. Somewhere, someone is always judging someone. The thought came back to me. And I realized, that people look for a simple thing; it takes nothing more than a warm smile of welcome to motivate you to enter into the calming presence of the Holy God to receive a touch from Jesus.
So, that’s why people go to Church on Good Friday.
Ephesians: 4: 9 NIV
This is why it[ says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]?
John 19 NIV
As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.