Friday, March 29, 2013

reminders of good friday

Several years ago a friend bought me a unique ring.   It is like the one in the picture above, and it is a recreation of Martin Luther’s wedding ring.  That is the Martin Luther who nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the church in the 1517.

The ring is loaded with symbolism from the Bible.  As I look at the ring I am often reminded of the overwhelming truths that God has blessed us with that flow sweetly from God to His son Jesus and on to us, the people that Jesus gave His life for. 

Today is the day known as Good Friday that commemorates the death of Jesus on a cruel Roman cross.  It was a horrible and painful death sentence given to the roughest of criminals, and those who opposed Jesus turned the leaders of that day against Jesus.  He was the only man to live a perfect, sinless life.  He was the only one who could give His life for ours.

As I look at Luther’s ring several realities give my faith confidence.

The Cross

On the side of the ring is depiction of a Catholic crucifix with Jesus on the cross.  Jesus is not on the cross any longer, but His death on the cross bought our life.  He bought our abundant life before physical death and our spiritual life of eternity in heaven.

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

The Blood

The stone on the top of the ring is a garnet.  It is dark red and symbolizes the blood of Jesus that flowed from His body.  Since the beginning of time and the first sin God required an offering or sacrifice of blood.  Yet the blood of the old covenant was a yearly demand by our holy God.  Jesus’s shed blood was a once and for all time sacrifice for those who call out for and accept Jesus.

and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

The Stories

Our Bibles are full of stories before Jesus came to earth and after.  The ring has several symbols of various lives and happenings.  They are stories of people of faith who lived beyond themselves and found that living disconnected from God was not an option for them.  We must find the same true for us.  We can and must chose to follow Jesus and let our faith in God increase.  God gives us a story to share with others.

Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

Forgiveness and Redemption

Lost.  Undone.  Hopeless.  Useless.  Those are just a few of the words that roll off the lips of people who have sought meaning apart from God.  Yet when we talk to people who came to Jesus and who lean on God, we find the truth of what it is to be redeemed and forgiven.  Without the death of Christ, without Good Friday, there would be no forgiveness of our sin.

With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.

And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.

May the reality of Good Friday overwhelm our minds and convince our hearts that the finished work of Christ on the cross is the story that continues to change us and to change others.  As we look at the reminders of Good Friday we know that our faith is rock solid built on Jesus.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

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happy birthday, Julie

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