By Bill Brandstatter
I have been seeing ads recently for “Black Friday.” This used to be the day after Thanksgiving when retailers lure customers with all kinds of special incentives. Now “Black Friday” comes earlier and lasts longer. People line up to get the special “door buster” savings. They will flock to stores and spend large amounts of money just to take part in the euphoria of “Black Friday.”
A long time ago there was a “Black Friday” that was even more significant. In Mark’s gospel account we read: “Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.” (Mk. 15:33) For three hours, the earth was dark. This was a dark day because Jesus was being crucified. We know it was Friday because Mark adds “Now when evening had come because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath...” (Mk. 15:42) Since the Sabbath fell on Saturday, we know this dark day was on a Friday.
What made this “Black Friday” so special? It was special because of the price that was paid. Jesus paid the price for the sins of all mankind. Peter described it this way: “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sin, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet. 2:24) There was another special purchase made on this day. Paul told the elders at Ephesus about this purchase. He said, “Shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28) Our salvation and the church of our Lord are worth more than all of Solomon’s riches.
It was special too, because of the people who were there. The crowd of people who wanted Him crucified was there. (Mk. 15:13) Simon the Cyrenian was there. (Mk. 15:21) The soldiers who led Him away to the cross were standing there mocking Him. (Mk. 15:16) The chief priests were mocking Him also. (Mk. 15:31) The reason Jesus died was for those that were there and for those who were not there. Jesus stated in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” He was willing to forgive them while they were crucifying Him.
Have you participated in the events of the “Black Friday” of Jesus’ life? Are you saved by His blood? (Matt. 26:28; Rev. 1:5) Have you put Him on in baptism and taken part in all that His death purchased? (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27) What did or does that “Black Friday” mean to you?
- Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/