Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Parson to Person
When I say, “Black Friday,” what is the first thing that you think of?
I bet most of us think about the largest shopping day of the year. We have barely digested our Thanksgiving dinners before we are preparing to wrestle through stores trying to find the best deals on things, if we are honest, we don’t really need.
As exciting as the Black Friday shopping may be, it falls infinitely short of the significance of another Black Friday.
Matthew 27:45-46, “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over the whole land. About three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
That Friday, as Jesus hung on the cross, God removed all light from the area.
The darkness symbolized God completely abandoning Jesus to die for the judgment of the world.
As Jesus hung on that cross, he was completely alone and felt a punishment that He never deserved.
The only man who ever deserved to be loved by God was now perishing in complete darkness as a criminal.
What held Jesus on the cross that day, is what makes that Black Friday worth celebrating every day.
Every single one of us, regardless of anything that we have ever done, is doomed by the same fate.
We are sinners who, no matter how hard we try, cannot love God the way that He loves us.
Sin runs so deep in us that we are incapable of ever doing anything that can bring true glory to God (read how Paul speaks about this in the Book of Romans).
If the story ended here then we would all be destined to be separated from God for all eternity. However, then Black Friday came.
As Jesus hung on that cross, God was preparing the greatest Black Friday bargain of all time.
All the debt that had accumulated from our continued sinfulness was completely written off by the work Jesus did.
No longer do we have to worry about the separation from God that our sin has caused because, if we believe in Jesus, we have freedom from any punishment.
Like the beloved hymn proclaims, “Jesus paid it all.”
I hope that as we anticipate Black Friday sales, we take time to thank God for His Black Friday and the opportunity it gives us to have a restored relationship with God.