Living the Reclaimed Life

#58 What's So Good About Good Friday? ~ Denisha Workizer

April 11, 2022 Season 2 Episode 58
Living the Reclaimed Life
#58 What's So Good About Good Friday? ~ Denisha Workizer
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered, "What is so good about Good Friday?" It is the day that Jesus was crucified. Why is that good? In this episode, we are going to dive into scripture and see how God constantly pursues us and provides a way for connection where there was once separation. We hope you enjoy this episode!

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For your own study, below are some of the scripture references cited in this episode.


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References in this episode:
Genesis 3:8 
Exodus 12: 1-51
John 19:30
Mark 15:37-38
Hebrews 10:19-24
John 19:32-33
John 15:13
John 3:16
Luke 23:44-46
John 19:32-33
1 Peter 1:19-21
Romans 6:23

FINAL #58 What's So Good About Good Friday?

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

Jesus, god, life, separation, curtain, reclaimed, pursues, friends, hope, temple, death, sacrifice, tells, lamb, love, presence, separated, disciples, cross, Friday

Transcript is auto-generated.

SPEAKERS

Denisha Workizer

Denisha Workizer  00:00

Have you ever wondered what is so good about Good Friday? It's the day that Jesus was crucified. And I know I wonder like, why it? Why is that so? Good? Well, friends today we're going to dive into Scripture together. And we're going to see a God who constantly pursues us, and constantly provides a way to connection where there was one separation, I think you're gonna enjoy this episode. 

Welcome to Living the Reclaim life Podcast. I'm Denisha. We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope, inspire healing, and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest. One of the things that I love to do around this time of year around Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday is to take a deep dive into Scripture. I love reading the different accounts of Good Friday of Jesus's crucifixion all the way to Resurrection Sunday. There is so many amazing details in this week that really changed history. So as we dive in together today, I hope that you will find the encouragement that it was for me, I was so encouraged, as I read this and put all of this together, you see God's masterpiece being woven before our eyes. So as we get started, we need to kind of go back to the beginning a little bit right there out God's story, you know, we see a desire for him to be with us. 

We see this demonstrated from the beginning of the Bible when He created Adam and Eve and his image, he walked with them in the cool of the day. And I don't know what comes up for you. But when I read that passage, I imagine Adam and Eve holding hands barefoot, crinkled leaves underneath their feet, a cool breeze coming by as God is walking tangibly beside them. And he's imparting wisdom and greatness into them. Now, I don't know really how that went down. But in just those words, he walked with them in the cool of the day, that is what comes to mind for me, because God was with them. And he gives them the entire garden and says they can eat if anything he has provided except for one tree. And just like us, they do what they were not supposed to do, right. And because they did God is holy. And now that they had sinned, they can no longer dwell together with him. And as a result of that choice, they were separated from God's presence. And that reconnection is what Eastern Resurrection Sunday the crucifixion. That is what it is all about guys. And I wonder, you know, as we look at this, if you have ever felt separated from God's presence, maybe it was a choice that you made, or maybe it was a choice that was made for you a situation you may have found yourself in. Maybe it's a season in your life when God feels far away.

Denisha Workizer  03:07

And I want to encourage you that the garden that separation from God was not the end of God's story. And separation from God is not the end of your story either. You see, he has a plan for restoration and for redemption. He has a plan that He lovingly developed before the foundation of the earth is what Scripture tells us. Before there were trees and water and all of the things he had a plan for our redemption. So as we step into this week, right, as we step into Holy Week, my hope is that we will see that the love of God constantly pursues us. And he provides a way to connection where there was once separation. And so in order to set this up, we're going to take a dive back into the Old Testament, we're gonna go back to Exodus. So Genesis Exodus, right, and hang in there with me for like two minutes as we go back to see the significance of what Jesus did on the cross, and all that we celebrate and remember this Holy Week. So just to frame this, I have to tell you, I love Easter. I love Cadbury eggs, that is my weakness. I love chocolate bunnies and egg hunts with the kids. But friends, I just want to tell you there is so much more. 

So let's first start by looking at the very first Passover. Passover was celebrated in the spring. So this time of year, the same time that we celebrate Good Friday and Easter. And if we dive back into Exodus 12, we will see that Israel was enslaved in Egypt, and Pharaoh did not want to let them go. So God continued to pursue his people and he had a plan of restoration for them. One of the reasons that we love the word reclaimed is it means to rescue and restore. And guys, that's the narrative of Genesis to Revelation God is in the business of rescuing and restoring his people. And that's exactly what God was doing here. He was rescuing Egypt from slavery and restoring them. So in order to protect the congregation of Israel from the last plague, God gives clear instruction that each household was to make a sacrifice. And that sacrifice was an unblemished, perfect lamb. Okay? So imagine your home, okay, your home that you live in. Now imagine that, and there is about to be this just terrible death that's going to come. And in order to not have your family touched by that. God tells you to sacrifice a an unblemished, perfect lamb. And that is really important. And I'll tell you a little bit more later. But that lamb can have no broken bones. It cannot have a rash, a deformed ear, or anything like that. It has to be a perfect lamb. And he tells them to place the blood of the lamb on the doorpost. So imagine like above your doorframe, and your front door, so that the angel of death when it comes through to kill the firstborn of Egypt, all the houses that had blood on the doorposts were passed over, and death did not come to their houses being passed over. 

That is where we get the word Passover. And Exodus 1214 says, This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. Now, this feast is known as the celebration of Passover, and they would sacrifice still a spotless, perfect lamb, no blemishes, no broken bones on this day to memorialize being set free from slavery. So as a way to remember what God had done for them. And now we read all of this in Exodus. Now we're going to fast forward from Exodus to the New Testament.

 

Denisha Workizer  06:58

During the lifetime of Jesus, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish religious life. Hebrews nine and many other places tells us that there was an outer room, the holy place in the temple. And that's where the priests interred regularly to carry on their ministry. But then there was an inner room and his inner room was so special, it was called the Holy of Holies. It is called the Holy of Holies. And this was not a room that anyone could just enter into. This was a room that was the earthly dwelling place of God's presence. How amazing is that just gives me the chills every time I think about that. Only the high priest could enter this room once a year and only with a blood sacrifice. And he offered that for himself and for the sins of the people. And at the entrance to the Holy of Holies was a large curtain that separated the rest of the temple, from this tangible presence of God. 

Now, this signified that man was separated from God by sin. Remember, God's presence couldn't dwell among us the way it did in the garden because of sin. So this was a separation. And I want to talk about this curtain for a second, because I've always been fascinated by this, this is amazing. When we think about a curtain, right, we think we're gonna go down to target and I'm gonna get a curtain for my window, and it could be thin. And maybe if it's a blackout curtain for like the bedroom or something, it could be a little bit thicker. But that is not what we see, when we see this curtain that separated the Holy of Holies. From the rest of the temple. This curtain was 60 feet high. 30 feet wide. And the Bible tells us it was a hand breath, it was about four inches thick, the thickness of a man's hand. And I thought, how do they move this? So as I studied, I realized, in order to move this curtain, it took about 300 men to move this curtain. And so this was more like a wall than a curtain, right? But it was a curtain that hung that separated the holy of holies from the rest of the temple. And it was a very important piece because it was a barrier between man and God. And remember, only the high priest could enter once a year and only with a blood sacrifice. 

So now we go back to the garden, we realized that we were separated from the presence of God. So this curtain continued to separate the people from the presence of God. Now, let's look at what happened to the curtain on the day that Jesus was crucified the day that we call Good Friday. The Bible tells us that when Jesus was being crucified that a darkness covered the land, and it was from noon until three, your translation may say, the sixth hour, the sixth hour was noon, and it went till the ninth hour, which was three o'clock, so three hours of total darkness. And in Mark 15, verse 37, tells us that when Jesus uttered he uttered a loud cry, And he breathed his last breath. In Jesus words, he said it is finished. At that moment, that curtain that 60 by 30. By 40 inches, that curtain of the temple was torn into the curtain that required 300 men to move it was suddenly torn from the top to the bottom, at the exact moment that Jesus was breathing his last breath on the cross of Golgotha, also known as Calvary, Jesus said, It is finished and that curtain tore from the top to the bottom, as if invisible hands reached down and grabbed it and just shredded it like it was tissue paper. 

And all of a sudden, when Jesus took his last breath, the holy of holies access to God's presence was open to everyone. Friends, this is the first time we see this since the garden, see what was separated now was no longer separated. Jesus's death on the cross was what ended that separation. And Luke tells us that when the veil the curtain was torn, it was no longer necessary for the continual sacrifice for the high priests to go in and sacrifice for the land. Because Jesus had settled that forever, you guys, doesn't this just blow your mind, that is so amazing. God Himself ripped the curtain of the temple. And from you know, all the way from the top to the bottom, as if it's a heavenly gesture, to say, declaring that the way to the very presence of God was once again available to everyone who came to God through Jesus. That just blows my mind. Every time I read and study this, the love of God that pursues us, and brings us to a place of connection or there was one separation. 

And today, friends, God's presence is still accessible to anyone through Jesus. Hebrews 1019 captures this so beautifully. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is his body. And since we have a great priest, remember Jesus is our high priests. Now, we don't need that high priests to make that sacrifice. Jesus was the last sacrifice. So verse 21, says incense we have a great priest over the house of God. Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience, and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. I love that it captures all that just happened so much. Because when we've experienced that no more separation, we've experienced the love of Jesus, we want to spur one another on towards love and good deeds, we also want to share it because the love of God pursues us. And he brings us to a place of connection where there was once separation. Is that amazing?

Can you see the completeness that God provided through Jesus? You know, we can see it so clearly because we have the New Testament that lays it all out for us. Right? And that is amazing. We can see from this side of the New Testament, we can see the significance of Jesus's crucifixion, we can see the access to God's presence that he provided. And we can see the significance of the temple, this curtain tearing,

 

Denisha Workizer  13:44

we see all of that we can see the hope because we know on Friday, we know that Sunday is coming we know there is a resurrection. But do you know who didn't have a full picture at the time Jesus's disciples and for just a moment? Let's put ourselves in their shoes. The men who had been following Jesus listening to his teachings, what do you think happened to them? So in that same moment, you remember when it felt dark, right, it felt dark at noon, the sky turned to black for three hours as dark clouds swallowed Jerusalem. The sun stops shining and the sudden darkness was all encompassing. Now, if you're standing in a dark room, and you turn on the light, the darkness suddenly surrenders to the light, right? 

When you flick that light on that darkness has to go the darkness surrenders to light. But here, we see that the darkness of Calvary was so intense that it smothered the light, and it had to have looked hopeless. Matthew's account says the earth shook and the rocks split. Jesus's death was such a dramatic event that even the earth have reacted to it. Jesus took his last breath, and it was over. Now to the disciples, this did not look like the victory that they had expected. This looked like defeat. Can you imagine how they felt? Like what do you do with all of the hopes that you had you set your whole livelihood, your whole life, your family to follow this man. And suddenly it looks like all of your hopes are dashed. Their friend, their teacher, the man that they left their lives behind to follow all that they had believed had come from God was suddenly dead. And how confusing right? Because just a week prior was Palm Sunday. And they were celebrating Jesus as King shouting, Hosanna blessed it is he who comes in the name of the Lord, hurray for the king, Salvation belongs to the king. He was their king, their hero, their hope. And all things that they believed about him, came crashing down. They had to have felt forsaken, like all was lost. You know, many times Jesus told his disciples the plan, right? That he kept telling them that they could not understand that he would die as king. So where was their hope? From the disciples perspective, where was their hope? And friends, I want to tell you, there is hope in the fact that this was God's plan all along. There are no surprises to God. And I have to remind myself of that in my own life, when I think oh, this surprised me, Lord, did you even see this coming? Right? Like, have you ever thought that? And I have to remind myself all the time, I didn't see this coming. 

But nothing is a surprise to God. You see this, this moment where Jesus took his last breath and their king, their hope had just died? That was God's plan all along. We all know, yeah, John 316, For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, for God, so loved friends, For God so loved you. You see, this is a life altering kind of love. On Friday, they may have put them in the grave. And it may have looked hopeless, as though his enemies had the best of him. But you see, God was not surprised because God was still at work. The disciples at the time, see, they could not see the bigger story that God was writing. They saw the darkness that was in front of them. But the Light of Hope, with great power was about to break through. And I wonder if you can relate to this? Do you see darkness in front of you? We're living in different times, aren't we? It's pretty unique right now. Well, friends,

 

Denisha Workizer  17:47

I want to tell you that no matter what is going on in your lives right now, regardless of your situation with your spouse, regardless of a health diagnosis, regardless of a wayward child, no matter what it is that you are facing, God is still at work in your life today, just as he was in the lives of the disciples. But on Friday, they couldn't see it. Because that day seemed dark. Jesus had died. But God was still at work, but look dark and hopeless was actually friends that day, that changed history. You see, the cross changes everything. The cross may have looked like defeat. But indeed, it was a victory because God's greatest display of love and grace was demonstrated through Jesus that day. And Friday was really the road to Sunday. Because as we know, the grave could not hold them in depth could not contain him. On the third day, he came out of the grave, He conquered death and he rose to life Jesus declared it is finished. And on that day, friend's death died with our King. That is the good news. That is the good news that we get to proclaim and uncertainty. 

That is the good news that we get to hold fast of as believers that when our days are dark, when the when the light has been squelched by all of the darkness, we get to hold on for the good news. And I want to take a look at another amazing detail of Jesus's death for us. Do you remember a few minutes ago, we talked about the first Passover, the very first one, when people were sitting in their homes and God said in order to avoid death, that you are to put the blood of a spotless lamb on your door post remember that God gave Israel clear instructions against breaking any of the bones of that lamb that it had to be perfect. It couldn't have a bone broken in ear deformed to, you know anything, it couldn't have a rash anything. Well, after Jesus took his last breath, let's see what happened. Get ready to have your mind blown like, totally was for me. Let's take a look at John 19 Verse 32. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first. That was the other person, another person who was on the cross next to Jesus, and of the other, the other person on the cross who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs to the very last detail of his death, can you see that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies concerning the Messiah, from way back little details that we may not find without really diving in the very bones normally, when someone was crucified, they would break their legs. 

But you see, in order to provide a spotless lamb, in order to provide a perfect lamb Jesus, to die for the sins of us to no longer have a sacrifice, a blood sacrifice given in the temple, he also had to be spotless and blemish free. And they, they the soldiers went, and they broke the legs of the two people who are on the crosses next to Christ, yet they did not break his legs. So even the last detail of His death, Jesus fulfilled the prophecies concerning the Messiah. Jesus was the last sacrifice. This was the very first time that a different kind of lamb the Lamb of God was sacrificed. And once that sacrifice was made, it was no longer necessary for a high priest to continually go back to that temple and make any animal sacrifices year after year for Jesus's blood was now the ultimate sacrifice and settled it forever. And access that was only available once a year and only to that high priest is now available to us through faith in Christ. Now you Fenton's are invited to enjoy the presence of God with you every day. There is no separation, no more separation between God and man, the creator of the universe, pursues you and invites you into relationship with him. So what does that mean for us? What that means on Good Friday, on Resurrection Sunday, and every day, we get to remember the lengths that the creator of the universe our God went to, in order to overcome separation and restore our relationship with Him.

 

Denisha Workizer  22:22

It cost him his only son, it cost Jesus's life. And we remember that cost. And through God's grace, we are also aware that Sunday is coming. The ultimate connection to God was that tearing of the veil, all the hindrances that kept us from God were removed. The hindrance of sin, of shame, of works of regret, are all removed through Jesus's sacrifice. Wow. And friends, it's not just for our eternal life. We know that life when life ends on Earth, we are follower of Christ, that we have eternal life with Him. But I also want to tell you that it is equipping for life today. It is equipping for when you get up in the morning, when you go to bed at night for the things that you face, we have access to something those Old Testament Heroes did not have access to. We not only now get to live with the presence of God, but we have the internal presence of God and the Holy Spirit. Think about that for a minute. They got to enter into the presence of God one time a year, their sacrifice through all of these things that they had to go through. We simply accept Christ as our Savior. 

We believe in Him. And we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So this week, we remember what Jesus did for us. We remember that he took separation and brought connection. John 1513 says Greater love has no one than this than someone lay down his life for his friends. And as I have studied this week, I have been overwhelmed by the depths of His love for us. And the way that he pursues connection with us. You know, the cross looked like a separation. But through death, Jesus became a human instrument of connection with God for us forever. So that we can live life abundantly. One of the scriptures or ministries based on his John 1010, that the thief came to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came that we would have life and life to the fall, that abundant life some translations say, and I don't know about you, but I know that I need that kind of love. I need that kind of hope in my life when things are hard. And once we found it, it's not a love that we want to hide. It's a love that we desire to share. It is the good news friends. And there are people in my My life I know that I love and care for. And I know there are people in your life that you love and care for. And we want them to know that God pursues them that he made a way for them to have access to him even before they even knew him. So who are the people in your life? Who is God placed in your life that he wants to introduce to this kind of love? How would the lives of the people in our lives that we love and care about be changed if they knew that the God the Creator of the universe, the God that created them and knit them together in their mother's womb pursued them. 

So he doesn't desire separation from us. And in fact, he goes to great lengths to have connection with us. And also with them, the people that we love in our lives, even if they do not yet know Christ. That is the love that we want for others. And that is the love that we talk about when we talk about Jesus. That is the love that we get to experience when we read about sing about and get to invite others into, we get to invite them into that kind of love. You know, there's that song that says, the overwhelming, never ending reckless love of God. He chases me down fights till I'm found leaves the 99. So as you reflect on his love this week, no many of us are thinking about who are we going to invite to Easter Sunday at church? Who are we going to pour into this week, friends, I just want to really invite you to reflect on the overwhelming never ending reckless love of God, for yourself. And then ask him, Who would you have me? introduce to your love? Who in my life, could I maybe invite to Easter who in my life could I go have coffee with and encourage and let them know about that Jesus that we follow, because that is the love. That is who we talk about when we talk about Jesus. That is the love that we experience. Overwhelming, never ending reckless love of God. He pursues you and He is inviting you and the people in your life into the fullness of what he has done for you on the cross.

 

Denisha Workizer  27:25

I remember wondering, what was so good about Good Friday, it sounds terrible. To Friday, Friday was the day that Jesus was crucified. Basically, Friday wasn't an end, it was the beginning. The same God that took Jesus from Friday to Sunday is the same God that is at work in our lives today in your life today. No matter what you are facing, no matter what you are up against your life has a purpose. And he is not done writing your story. No matter if you are seeing victory or defeat friends, God is faithful to complete what he has started in all of us. And so today, as we reflect on the cross, we also have the hope of knowing that God is still at work in our lives. And in our world.

Right here, right now, wherever you are in your car in your room. God is at work in your life, telling his story of redemption. You see, the fullness of life with God doesn't exist as a distant thought, through Jesus, he is a near and present reality. And it is in him that our hope lies. And so if you're listening to this today, and you have never said yes to Jesus, maybe throughout your lives, maybe even as a child, you felt him knocking on that door of your heart. But you never quite opened it and said, Yes. I want to invite you to do that today. It doesn't have to be a fancy ceremony. It doesn't have to be anything. It can literally be in your car while you're driving listening to this podcast or after. Would you lean into him? Would you accept the love that he invites you into? Because this is pretty amazing. We're going from 1300 BC all the way up to his death and resurrection as he fulfills words that were written far before he was ever born. Would you accept Him as Lord of your life? Would you come to a point where you surrender? Or you say, all right, Lord, I've been trying it my way all this time. And I'm ready to surrender to you. Would you accept the love that he gave us on the cross? Would you accept that love in your life today? And if that's you, would you join me in praying this prayer? It's no magical words. It's just a simple cry of our hearts.

Dear God, I invite you to be the Lord of my life. I am ready to turn from my ways and lean into yours. I am ready to accept your love and your sacrifice. And I believe that Jesus died for my sins. And then he rose again. And that in him, I have life. In Jesus name, we pray, amen.

Friends, if you prayed a simple prayer with me today, and you accepted Christ, would you email us we would love to get some resources into your hands and just walk alongside you in this journey with God. He is as real as the car you're driving in the chair, you're sitting in the floor you're standing on he is more real than anything we experience in this world. And so today, I hope that you are encouraged as we dove into Scripture to learn a little bit more about Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday and why that is so important. So we just want to say we're glad that you're here today. And we hope that you have a great week and May the love of Christ overtake you overwhelm you, and may you know that he relentlessly pursues you. Have a great week, friends, we'll see you same time, same place next week. 

You can email us at connect at reclaimed story.com. And you can also go to our website at reclaim story.com and contact us through there. We will put scripture References and notes from today in the show notes. Thank you for joining us. Thanks for listening. I pray you found hope in today's conversation and maybe even feel a little less alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at reclaimed story. Want to learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our growing community of reclaimers? 

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