History makes us and marks us. On Good Friday we study what happened on that day, the terrible details of how it all went down when Jesus died and the miraculous gift of his blood. Pastor Kevin Cavanaugh, itinerant Pastor doing pulpit supply and leadership training in both the US and Canada joins us to explain how the history of Good Friday really is good and how it split history right down the middle.
Kevin Cavanaugh: Good Friday is great because it is the day that our pardoned papers were secured. The day our debts were themselves nailed to the cross and eternally canceled. The light of life first entered into the holy of Holies. As the veil of the temple was split right down the middle.
Narrator: Revive your faith with Purposely Equipped. In this special five-episode podcast, Experience Resurrection, we’re looking at what the resurrection really means to our Christian faith, and why, what Jesus did on the cross is so important to our lives today. Special, thanks to our friends at George Fox University, ranked among the top Christian colleges in America by Forbes. Be known at George Fox University, personally, academically, and spiritually.
Today’s special guest is pastor Kevin Cavanaugh. Kevin is an itinerant pastor, doing pulpit supply and leadership training in both the U.S. And Canada.
Kevin Cavanaugh: I didn’t do very well in school. I was terrible at history and even worse at math, but to this day, I still remember who it was that sailed that blue ocean discover America all the way back in 1495. Or was it ’92? As you know, history is hinged on the past, woven together by a multitude of dates, times people and events. The things most often recorded are the worst wars, the most renowned events, incredible discoveries, and sadly the most horrendous disasters. And more modern history dates like December 7th and September 11th, stand out in our minds. Years like 1929, 1939, 1964, 1969, 1989, and Y2K. Names like Roosevelt, Elizabeth, Kennedy, Martin, and John; places like Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Events, like the moon, Columbine, Katrina, and sadly, most recently the Ukraine… history both makes us and marks us. The more we delve into its pages, the deeper we dive into its depths.
But there’s one thing true about all of it, it all centers around a specific event on a specific day at a specific time, three in the afternoon, and what one very specific person did. The day I’m referring to just might have been given the strangest name of any day in all of history; it’s known as Good Friday. A day Christians gathered together to celebrate the most brutal, grisly, and vicious murder ever committed. It’s on this day called good that we will spend time reading, reflecting, and reviewing the gory and torturous details of how the murder of Jesus Christ was actually carried out.
We’ll rehearse how he was punched in his face, pummeled on his back with whips, pricked in his head with thorns, plucked of his beard, punctured with nails through both his hands in his feet so that he could be plummeted into the ground on a stake, and then pierced through his side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
And as if this were not enough, with even greater glee, we will remind each other of the fact that his blood was spattered on the ground, for each of us on that day. In fact, we will sing about it from the top of our lungs. And why? Because this was not just any blood. It wasn’t the blood of bulls goats or pigeons. No, this was the blood of the Lamb. And not just any lamb, the blood that flowed from this Lamb was the blood of God himself. This was a day that had been marked, circled, and underlined on God’s celestial calendar, even before the foundations of the earth were engineered. In fact, the first time the forerunner set eyes on Jesus, he quickly ID’d him saying behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Do you know what history changing event took place on September 22nd, 1862? It was a day that would alter life forever in the United States. It was the day that President Lincoln gave his renowned emancipation proclamation speech to abolish slavery. As a result, freedom would be purchased for black slaves at the high cost of thousands and thousands of lives.
But that event, significant as it was, cannot begin to be compared with what happened on good Friday. You see millions of men and women could have offered to shed their blood to try and secure our freedom, but it would have all been for not, because we are all apart of Adam’s fallen race. A race eternally inflicted by sin and death.
I believe God’s own emancipation proclamation speech had been delivered centuries before, not by a president, but a prophet. Isaiah’s proclamation outlined exactly what Jesus Christ would come to earth and do for us. And the 53rd chapter starting with the fourth verse we read, surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering. Yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted, but he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our inequities. The punishment that brought us peace was on him. And by his wounds, we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray. Each of us has turned to our own way and the Lord has laid on him, the iniquity of us all.
The reason, my friends, why good Friday is such a great day in history is that it marks the day that Jesus Christ, God’s only son and savior, came as the second Adam to do as it were what the first Adam could not. Jesus paid the ransom that was due for us. Our freedom was purchased at the highest cost. The life blood of God almighty himself. Good Friday is great because it is the day that our pardon papers were secured. The day our debts were themselves nailed to the cross and eternally canceled. The day our freedom was fought for and won. It was on that dark day that the light of life first entered into the holy of Holies.
As the veil of the temple was split right down the middle, emphatically marking the fact that full access to God had now been made possible to all mankind, through Jesus Christ our Lord. What ended up in the darkness of death on Friday became the light of eternal life just three days later, on resurrection, Sunday. Glory to God. Can anybody say amen to that?
And just how significant was the resurrection on human history? Well, I think it is fair to say, that the resurrection itself, split history right down the middle into two segments. From that day, right up to this day, all of human history has been recorded and referenced by two sets of letters, BC and AD. BC references every single date, time and event that happened on this earth as it happened before Jesus was born. AD is the anchoring reference point for everything else that has taken place after Jesus Christ arrived. AD is a Latin abbreviation, meaning anno domini, in the year of our Lord. Today, as I record this message, it’s officially Monday, March 7th, 2022, AD, in the year of our Lord. Are you understanding what historical significance March 7th, 2022, AD has? Because it’s March 7th, 2022, AD in Canada. Cuba, Qatar, Calcutta, California, and the rest of the world.
There have been 2022 years that had been filled with days. Days completed by weeks. Weeks that have formed months. Months that have created years. Years that have been compiled into decades. Decades that have stacked together and established centuries. Centuries, which added together have made up the millenniums. We call it history. And all of history gives witness to the birth life and death of one single solitary man. The God man, Jesus Christ. God’s son, and the only savior of the world. This truth is maybe best summarized in one verse, and this one verse may be the most recognizable on the planet. John 3:16, for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Your life and your history, however, brief, or long it is, are also marked by those very same letters. BC and AD. Christians tend to frame them a little differently. BC speaks of your history before Jesus Christ became a part of it. And AD speaks of your life after receiving Jesus right up to this present hour. Friends, he forgave you to free you. He saved you so you could serve him. He redeemed you so you could use your lips to spread his redemption into the lives of those people that make up your own world. Resurrection Sunday is the greatest day in history because it marks circles and underlines for us that day God made it possible for you and I to have a new life. Listen, he didn’t just provide us with the chance of a new lease on life. No. Dead people like me and you are not in need of a new lease, we’re in need of a new life. Amen? A resurrection life. The final date I want to leave you with is one that very few people will remember a mark it’s May 12th, 1974, AD.
That was the day that history was split in my own life. The day when my BC became an AD. The day in the year of our Lord, when the Lord became my Lord, my savior. It was the day I exchanged my life in all of its fallenness, all of its failure, all of its brokenness, for his life and all of its truth and grace, mercy, and love and forgiveness.
Talk about a great exchange. My goodness. There’s nothing better. It was the first day, May 12th, 1974, was the first day for the rest of my eternal life. I was saved on Saturday night live. Yeah. Live in the sense that I was not in church, there were no pastors, no preachers or even any adults. I was at a party with all the accoutrements. There was plenty of rock music, girls, booze, and drugs. Only as I sat there, was if I entered into my own Twilight zone. Jesus had literally come knocking at my door. I sensed, he was speaking directly into my heart. Before the night was over, the darkness of my life had been penetrated by his great love. I walked into a guest bathroom. I looked heavenward and I spoke these words, I said, Lord Jesus, no one needs to tell me what a terrible sinner I am. Will you forgive me? I ask, will you come into my heart, and will you make me your child? The best I know how. I didn’t understand it all, and neither could you, but the best I know how I said I’m giving every bit of my life to you.
Listen, there’s absolutely no telling where you’re at right now, or what you’re doing as you’re listening to me speak these words, but I know one thing for absolute certain, God’s word is true. And his promises can be trusted. The same God who saved me can save you no matter where you’re at, no matter what you’ve done or what you’re doing.
Jack Brown was the man that led me to Jesus Christ. He was only in his early twenties when he shared with me from John 1:12, but as many as received him, Kevin, he said, to them he gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in his name. And then he went on to share with me, Romans 10:13, whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
You emphasize that word whosoever and what a great word it is to emphasize. Anybody and everybody, talk about an all-inclusive love. Wow. Listen friends, why not let this day, today, be the day your BC becomes an AD? Why not allow the Lord to become your Lord, in the year of our Lord? Oh, my goodness. God bless you. Happy Easter. It’s the greatest day in history.
Narrator: Again, we want to thank George Fox University for sponsoring this episode of Experience Resurrection. To learn more about how you can be known at George Fox University, visit georgefox.edu. Thank you for downloading Experience Resurrection, and don’t forget to share it with a friend. Let’s keep building our faith together. Purposely Equipped as part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts and faith resources at onpurposely.com.