Good Friday

John 19:28-37

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Image31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

Revolution and God

Who are we really?  Deep down, who are we?  Can we change?  I was watching the T.V. show Revolution – which tells the story of a world which loses all power.  There are no phones, no lights, no motor cars (5 points to the first person who recognizes the cultural reference), no power at all.  This causes the governments to fall and small militias to form.  In one episode we meet Jim Hudson, a former militia member, who was trying for a new life.  He changed his name, found love, and a quiet place to live.  But when militia member turned renegade turned rebel Miles Matheson found him, Jim was forced to return to his killing self.  This suggests the question can we really change who we are?

Simon Peter was a man who changed. During his time with Jesus, he was brave, yet sometimes fearful.  He was sure of Jesus’ identity (“you are the messiah”), yet denied Jesus’ destiny.  He promised Jesus he would stand by him, yet denied him three times after Jesus’ arrest.  But Peter changed.  After the gospels, comes the book of Acts.  And in the second chapter of Acts, the Holy Spirit comes upon the people and Peter becomes a totally different man. He is filled with God’s power.  He is an eloquent speaker, confident in his mission.  He becomes the leader of the new church.

So can we change?  Can we truly change who we are?  Not by ourselves.  We cannot change ourselves by ourselves, but God can certainly change us.  When we allow God to enter our lives, we will be changed.  Will we slip up once in awhile?  Of course, but the more we trust God, the more we allow God to lead us, the more we will change.  When we study God’s word, participate in worship, and spend time in prayer, God will change us more into the likeness of Christ.  And that is a power we can tap into whether the lights are on or not!