Friday 25th March (Good Friday)

Please read Psalm 69; Genesis 22:1-18; Hebrews 10:1-10…

In the Philippines, where we lived for almost nine years, Good Friday was always a sombre, tragic day. The usually congested city roads would have very little traffic on them; most people would stay in their homes. The pervading belief was that God had died again and so charms and amulets they wore to protect against evil and bad luck had lost their power for two days. In many villages across the nation, men would parade through the streets, continually lashing their bare backs with bamboo whips until they bled in order to pay penance for some wrong doing. Others would literally be nailed to crosses for several hours.

How they needed to hear the message of the amazing grace of that first Good Friday!

In Hebrews 10:1-10 we read that with animal sacrifices “there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (v3-4). The wonderful good news is that “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (v10). We do not need to strive or even suffer in order to receive acceptance, forgiveness and salvation. Through the agonising death of Jesus on the cross and the unimaginable separation from His Father we can, and do, experience His amazing love, grace, freedom and hope.

Prayer of Richard of Chichester: Thanks be to You, our Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which You have given us, for all the pains and insults which You have borne for us. Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we know You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly, day by day.

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