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Good Friday Meditation

Second Timothy 3:1-17 seems like an odd passage for Good Friday. The cross is not mentioned at all. Jesus is only mentioned twice and almost in passing. The focus is on last days spiritual conditions and the call to faithfulness to the word of God. So, why choose this text for this day?

This text does two important things relevant to Good Friday and the observance of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. It describes the world we live in today and it calls us to avoid becoming like the world by coming to the cross. The cross of Jesus Christ is not absent; it is assumed. If people are lovers of self and lovers of money and lovers of pleasure rather than of God, it is because they have not come to the cross and fallen in love with the One who died there. And if there are among us those who are not lovers of self, and lovers of money, and lovers of God more than of pleasure, it will be those who have come by faith to the cross of Jesus and been covered there by His blood.

I chose this text for tonight because I want you to see in the cross of Christ what life is like without the cross and what life can be like with the Cross.

Without the cross the human heart, which the Bible reminds us is desperately wicked and inclined toward evil continually, goes on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. There is none righteous, no not one, and without the cross, without the death of Jesus in our place and on our behalf, there would never be any righteous, no not one. God created human beings for righteousness and joy and holiness and love, but we abandoned God’s purpose for us in favor of pursuing our own self-interests and the imaginations of our hearts rather than the revelation of God.

Without the cross we are by nature and by choice proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, and swollen with conceit. The apostle Paul warns us not to think that somehow our moral condition will excuse us, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV) 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you.

But what does save us is the cross: With the cross, through faith in Jesus Christ: But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. On the cross, God gives sin what it deserves: justice. On the cross, God gives sinners what they do not deserve: mercy.

Again we turn to the words of the apostle in Romans 5:

“For while we were still weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare to die–but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”

Every ounce of the righteous and just wrath of God at sin has been satisfied in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Anything that might have kept us separate from God and dead in our trespasses and sins has been removed at the cross. Every requirement of law we have broken, every assertion of law we have omitted or ignored has been adequately and infinitely resolved in the body and blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.

With the cross there is forgiveness: God removes our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. With the cross there is peace: God reconciles us to himself in love driving fear of death from the heart. With the cross there is life: Once we were dead in our trespasses and sins, but God has made us alive in Christ through His death on the cross. With the cross there is transformation: If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away. All things are becoming new. With the cross, we who were once not a people are now the people of God. With the cross, we who were once far away and without God in the world are brought close and adopted by God as sons and daughters.

In this day, as evil doers go from bad to worse, our one hope, our only hope, is the cross. Cling to the cross. Cherish the cross. Covet the cross above all else.

Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross (Near The Cross)
Fanny Crosby

Jesus keep me near the cross
There a precious fountain
Free to all a healing stream
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain

In the cross in the cross
Be my glory ever
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river

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