Friday, April 10, 2009

April 10- Good Friday- The Death of Christ

(Grunewald 1515 painting)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

4/10- “The Death of Christ.
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." [a] When he had said this, he breathed his last. 47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
(Luke 23:44-47)
Calvin: By dying, he ensured that we would not die, of — which is the same thing — redeemed us to life by his own death. He differed from us, however, in this respect: he let himself be swallowed up by death, as it were, not to be engulfed in its abyss, but rather to engulf it [cf. 1 Peter 3:22, Vg.] that must soon have engulfed us; he let
himself be subjected to it, not to be overwhelmed by its power, but rather to lay it low, when it was threatening us and exulting, over our fallen state. Finally, his purpose was “that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage” [Hebrews 2:14-15]. This is the first fruit that his death brought to us. The second effect of Christ’s death upon us is this: by our participation in it, his death mortifies our earthly members so that they may no longer perform their functions; and it kills the old man in us that he may not flourish and bear fruit. Christ’s burial has the same effect: we ourselves as partakers in it are buried with him to sin. The apostle teaches that “we
have been united with Christ in the likeness of his death” [Romans 6:5, KJV], and “buried with him …into the death” of sin. (II. 16:7).

Christ the innocent died, that we the guilty might live. Max Lucado said, “It wasn’t right that spikes pierced the hands that formed the earth. Was it right? No. Was it fair? No. Was it love? Yes.” (The Applause of Heaven). If we have faith in this act, then we know we have forgiveness. If we have forgiveness, then we know we have Christ’s love and grace.

Prayer; Lord, thank you for dying on the cross that we might be set free from death.

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