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A Good Friday Story

“As often as you drink this cup, do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:26

I came from a bit of a crazy home, and family holidays were sometimes difficult. Since I wasn’t raised in the faith, I never really connected holidays to holy days. So, the many Christian holidays were never important to me. However, as my faith grew, I found one holiday that I always connected with; it was Good Friday. I typically took the day off work and spent it alone reading through John’s gospel from Chapter 12 through 21. It was my one holy day of the year.

After years of keeping this as a sacred observance, one April, our company was in the middle of a difficult project and I had no choice but to work. Although deeply bothered, I worked as hard as I could and used my lunch break to ponder Scripture and journal. Since I had no personal notebook or journal, I simply opened an email to capture my thoughts and as the email opened, there was a subject line. What subject shall I write? I wondered, and simply jotted the first thing that came to mind: “Is Good Friday for Christians?”

I’m not sure what prompted me to write that subject, but after I wrote it, I pondered, What is Good Friday, really? I had learned as I began growing in my faith that it was about the sacrificial death of Jesus, the creator of the universe upon Roman gallows; but where did this feast come from?

For the next hour I ploughed through my Bible, moving backwards, farther and farther. As I researched, I wrote. As I wrote I discovered.

I finally found my way back to the very first Passover, in Egypt among a helpless group of slaves, when God commanded them to take an innocent lamb and slaughter it at sunset. The blood would cover the doorposts of their houses and they would be saved. The picture became so clear and vivid; the similarities were undeniable. The more I read, the more I became convinced that Passover was the way God would show them how they would one day be fully rescued from their sins.

As I finished that simple email, I answered the question in the subject line, “Is Good Friday for Christians?” and I wrote, “Good Friday is for Jews”. I slid my chair back, got down on my knees next to my chair and cried and prayed, “God, save your people”. Until that moment, I had never had a concern for the people of Israel.

As the workday ended, Teresa called and told me to hurry home before the Good Friday service. That night at church was a life changer. A Jewish Rabbi who believed in Jesus (Yeshua) came to our church and walked us through the Passover, and for the first time I realized that God not only gave me a heart to reach His people, but he also gave me an understanding of how.

During March and April, Celebrate Messiah will be hosting Passovers across the country, I hope you have a chance to join us. I pray that your heart will be forever changed just as mine was when I realized what an amazing thing happened when Jesus died on that cross.

by Michael Thomas, PFI Director


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