Welcome to Our Community - Pastor Kevin Weeks
This week we welcome Pastor Kevin Weeks who pastors two churches: St John's Lutheran of Depew and Our Savior's Lutheran of Emmetsburg Iowa. Kevin and his wife Sarah have been long supporters of IOLBC as campers, volunteers, and even as staff (Sarah will be cooking at our Ingham Lake location this summer and one of their adult sons currently serves on our year round staff as part of our Youth Ministry Team). Thanks for sharing Pastor Kevin!
As a young child, I often wondered about Good Friday. Why did they call it “good”? A man was tortured and died. Jesus was the man. That did not sound very good to me. Death sounded horrible; not good. What was so good about someone dying?
The good part was the purpose for which Jesus died. As I grew older, I eventually understood what this was all about. This day was good for us as mortal creatures of God.
Next week begins the most Holy Week of the year. We ponder in depth the mysteries of the purpose of the Incarnate Christ. One of those mysteries is Good Friday.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I like nativity scenes with a cross somewhere in the background. The cross reminds us why Jesus was born. He was born to die on the cross. This was his ultimate mission, followed with the resurrection, of course.
During this time of year, as we come to Holy Week, I often hear people talk about the darkness of Good Friday, as I wondered about as a young child. It is such a dark and dreary worship service, they say. YES. We talk about death, and death IS dark. Death is the antithesis to life. We are opposed to death, and when it confronts us, we are a bit troubled.
And then we remember what Good Friday is all about. It is Good, because with the death of Jesus, our sins are forgiven. Jesus takes the punishment we deserved for our sin. It is good for us. It is Good News for our eternal destinies.
During Lent we confess our sin. We acknowledge what we have done wrong, not lived as God calls us to live, in obedience to him. We realize that with our disobedience toward God - our sin - we deserve punishment. The Good News is that Jesus comes to take the punishment that we deserve. He died in our place.
The last words of Jesus on the cross according to St. John are “It is Finished.” (John 19:30) It is one word in the Greek, Τετέλεσται,( tetelestai ). This word often carries the connotation of full completion. Jesus has completed his task on earth. All the events of Holy Week have been completed. All of the events of his life have moved him toward this final point of completion. His purpose for living was to die for us, granting us forgiveness. He mission on earth is now fully accomplished. All is finished for our salvation. This is what is Good about Good Friday.
What Jesus does for us through his death on the cross is good for us. Jesus taking our sins upon himself and suffering death as a consequence of those sins grants us forgiveness. With his death we are now eternally free from those sins. This is the Good News of Good Friday.
Have a blessed journey through Holy Week and toward Easter Resurrection.
Pastor Kevin Weeks <><
- What do you think about when you ponder and attend worship on Good Friday?
- Have you spent time in confession during Lent? There is still time.
- Through the power of the Holy Spirit, have you given Jesus your sins so that you may receive his forgiveness?
- Are you ready to live in the Good News Jesus offers to you?