Today is Good Friday. Its the day that we remember the death of our Savior as a sacrifice in our place. But do we get it? The only place I've ever seen any really violent deaths is through the television. When I hear that Jesus was crucified, I don't have any experience to draw on to fully understand what he went through. My guess is that most of you are in the same boat as well. A crucifixion is so far from reality to us that its hard to comprehend. So let's look briefly at what our Savior endured for us. This will be detailed and may make some readers feel uncomfortable. It should. The goal here is not gore, but the truth of what our Savior went through for us.
When I'm driving the speed limit and I get tailgated, sometimes I think to myself, "I should just slam on my brakes and it will go down as their fault...that'll teach them!"
When I got home from the airport last week, Michaela was crying and everyone was talking while grandma was trying to buckle her into her car seat. We were parked for too long at the pickup curb and the lady came up and told us to move. I snapped at her quite rudely.
I got a huge and unexpected bill yesterday. When I went in to dispute it and things didn't go my way, I thought about throwing my documents in the lady's face for a second... just for a second. On the outside, I smiled and thanked her.
Do you get angry? Do you punch walls? Do you lose your temper? Do you yell at people? I'm not the only one right?
If you read the news or listen to the radio, you've probably heard this story. Julio Diaz (above) was approached after getting off the train by a teen with a knife. After he handed over his wallet, the teen turned around to leave. If I were Julio, at that point I probably would have taken out my cell phone and called the police while walking away. I would be upset that my day had been ruined by such a scary thing and I would want that no good teen caught and punished and I would want my wallet returned. I think that is how most of us would feel.
Last week, we left off in a bad spot. The Israelites had been carried off into exile. Their city had been burned. Their temple was ransacked and destroyed. Their leaders were murdered and their king was in prison. Their freedom was taken. For seventy years they lived as slaves. And a question was left lingering. Is there any hope for God’s people? That’s the question we will be asking every week and we’ll be seeing a fuller and fuller answer every week.
Have you heard about the new Spiderman movie scheduled to come out in 2012? Don't believe me? You can watch the trailer HERE.
You may have noticed something strange. Its not part four in the Spiderman series. Its a total reboot. Tobey Maguire will not be playing Spiderman, there is a totally new Peter Parker. In fact, all of the actors are new. It's not even called Spiderman anymore. Now, its "The Amazing Spider-man" (which you'll recognize as the original comic title if you're a nerd like me). Marvel is completely starting over and taking everything back to the drawing board. Its a fresh start.
I think it takes a lot of guts for Marvel to do this. In order to start over, they have to toss all of the other Spiderman movies out the window. And starting over so soon kind of gives the impression that Marvel is almost saying they did a bad job on the previous Spiderman movies so they need to take another crack at it. Now, of course, they probably would never actually admit this, but they are kind of saying it by starting over.
Its kind of like calling a mulligan. In most games, you're only allowed to call a mulligan (a do-over) if your first try was so obviously bad that its needed. When somebody whiffs on the first swing in golf, they might call a mulligan. I think it takes a lot of guts for Marvel to call a mulligan after three whole movies.
But its not the first time. Marvel called a mulligan with Hulk remember?
"In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26-27
A friend of mine was recently caught in the middle of drama. We'll call this friend Jim. Sally told Billy a lie about Jim. As a result, Billy is now mad at and not really speaking to Jim. For the moment, this lie has wrecked that relationship.
Jim and I talked about it for a while and he finally asked, "Is it okay that I'm mad? Is it wrong for me to be angry about this?"
The answer? It is perfectly normal for you to be mad, disappointed, hurt, and angry when somebody wrongs you. It is not a sin.
Mark has been happily married for five years, has a year and a half old daughter, and serves as a youth and children pastor in Oak Park.