President Trump suggested in a recent Coronavirus Task Force press briefing that this week of the pandemic would be the toughest week to date. He warned there would be a lot of death. No one is unaffected by the COVID-19 crisis. For most churches, there will be no corporate gatherings for worship this Easter Sunday. Instead, Easter 2020 will be celebrated via virtual worship experiences. These days are unprecedented and uncertain. Most of us have never anticipated something like this occurring in our modern society. Yet this is where we find ourselves; we are dealing with a global pandemic that has generated tremendous amounts of uncertainty and anxiety about the days to come.
Naturally, I am also concerned about this virus and its implications; however, I have to ultimately be most concerned about the Gospel message. It is the message of unshakable joy and peace found in Christ and the eternal realities that Easter weekend represents that need to be heralded. Unfortunately, I do not have any prophetic abilities to predict what will unfold over the next few weeks, but as steward of Gospel truths, I want to offer some biblical reflections that can provide eternal perspective during uncertain times. These reflections will ignite passionate, Christ-exalting, worship for the joy and comfort of our souls! For this generation, there has never been a greater moment to reflect on the truths of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I pray the following reflections on Good Friday and Easter encourage you in the midst of this historical Easter weekend.
The Goodness of Good Friday
No matter how many lives are lost during this pandemic it will not be the greatest tragedy in human history. The greatest and most horrific tragedy has already occurred. The murder, the slaughter, the death of the Author of Life on the cross is exceedingly greater than any tragedy or loss the world will ever experience (Acts 3:15). Yet, we call this most horrific day, Good Friday, a seemingly paradoxical statement that necessitates explanation.
It is Good Friday because it was the day that God the Father sovereignly orchestrated the death of His Son in order to atone for the sins of all who would place their faith in Christ (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28). The death of Christ is good because it accomplished the predetermined will of the Godhead to secure the salvation of everyone who would believe the Gospel. Now, in the midst of our uncertainty, we celebrate Jesus as an actual Savior, not a potential Savior! The bloodletting of Christ fully propitiated the wrath of God (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 John 2:2) and expiated the sins of His people (Isa 53:6; John 1:29; Col 2:14; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 2:24). By vicariously dying in our place, Christ fully satisfied the holy and just demands of God making possible the forgiveness of sin. Jesus continues to ensure the success of the atonement through His mediation as High Priest (Heb 7:26-27; 9:12).
In the midst of our current chaos, we should meditate on the glory of the atonement and the accomplishment of the cross. We now have unwavering confidence in God’s sovereign orchestration of our redemption. With that unwavering confidence, we can worship in the midst of this pandemic. We can exalt God in the face of uncertainty because we know that our God has already taken the most horrific day in human history and made it Good.
This is part one of an Easter series written by Craig McClure. The second part will be posted on Easter morning.
Craig is originally from Hiawassee, GA. God’s calling on his life led Craig to earn a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Piedmont College and a master’s degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Craig is SCORE International’s national director of discipleship and church planting in the Dominican Republic. He is also an adjunct professor at the Seminario Teológico Bautista Dominicano an affiliate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and serves as a minor league baseball chaplain through the ministry of Baseball Chapel. If you’d like to learn more about the ministry he and his family do in the Dominican Republic, you can visit our website.