By Bill Brandstatter
“Black Friday” has come and gone. This is the day after Thanksgiving when retailers lure customers with all kinds of special incentives. People line up at stores early in the morning to get the special “door buster” savings. People 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.” (Mark 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...” (15: 42 NKJV) Since the Sabbath fell on Saturday, we know this day was 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 sins, 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 because of the people that were there. The crowd of people who wanted Him crucified were there. (Mark 15:13) Simon, the Cyrenian, was there. (Mark 15:21) The soldiers who led Him away to the cross were standing there mocking Him. (Mark 15:16) The chief priests were mocking Him also. (Mark 15:31) The reason Jesus died was for those that were there and for those who were not there. Jesus stated, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34) He was willing to forgive them while they were crucifying Him.
It was special because of the people who were not there. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10) His blood opened the way to heaven for many. (Eph. 1:7; John 6:54) His blood did away with the Old Testament and brought about a new. (Heb. 9:14,15) His blood enabled people of all generations to be saved through the message of the gospel and through access to His blood that was shed on that “Black Friday” a long time ago. (Gal. 3:28; Rom. 1:16).
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 that “Black Friday” mean to you? Would you stand in line to worship and to hear about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
- Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/