A message from Pastor Berndt
One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear and immediately blood and water flowed. (John 19:34)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Blessed "Good Friday". What is good about Good Friday? It is not good for Jesus – but it is good for us sinners. Jesus is answering for all of our sins. All the hurt we have done to our neighbor. The harsh words we have spoken. All the evil we have done. All our rebellion before God – in our thinking – with our actions – and in our hearts.
Jesus takes the punishment due us sinners. He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53) The sky grows dark. The beating – by the Roman guard – the mocking – the purple robe around His shoulders – the crown of thorns – the nails – placed on His Hands and Feet. The wrath of God is poured out against all of your sins on Good Friday – fall on Jesus – hung on the Tree.
Jesus cries out – IT IS FINISHED! – Your salvation is completed in Christ’s finished work for you. Between heaven and earth our Lord dies for us. One of the soldiers thrust a spear into Jesus’ side. What begins to flow? All the benefits from Jesus’ work for you – Blood and Water. — The water flows from the Lamb's side – into the fount. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. (Mark 16) New life in the waters of Holy Baptism. The blood of Christ – fills the cup in the Lord's Supper. Jesus feeding His flock with the fruit of His Cross – the forgiveness of sins.
By water and blood — Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth....This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(1 John 5)
This Lent did you give up something? Here is what you are to give up. Give up feeling guilty. Give up your shame. Jesus has taken it all for you into His Body – to put it all to death.
You are the Baptized Children of God washed clean in Jesus’ Living Waters. You have been freed with Jesus Holy Body and Blood. Sins forgiven.
They took Jesus’ Body down from the Tree. Wrapped Him in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. (Luke 23)
They rolled a large stone in front of the entrance. Good Friday's work is done. Are you looking forward to Easter? Indeed. Because Jesus defeats the grave for you. Life is flowing from Jesus to you. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10)
Good Friday is Good. Very Good for sinners like us. Sins are forgiven and where there is forgiveness of sins there is life and salvation. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
425 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
See, from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?