Saturday, April 15, 2017

Good Friday Homily- An Expedient Death

Good Friday Homily
An Expedient Death
April 14, 2017

On Good Friday, we look on with horror as the minions of death and hell gather round our Lord. They condemn Him in an unjust trial, mock Him as a pretend king, tear the flesh off His back with a spiked whip, spit on Him, punch Him in the face, beat a crown of long thorns into His skull until His face is covered in blood.  Some are aghast at the violence while others rejoice at the despicable sight.
Why would our Lord submit to such brutality and humiliation from vile men? He could have called down legions of angels to defend Him and to attack His enemies. But He did not do so. He did not respond to the evil with resistance. For our sakes, He suffered.
These stripes, these wounds, these humiliations, these spittings, these strikings, the bloody crown and the torn flesh were meant for you. It was your just due as offspring of your father, Adam. Even you, little children, who gather at Easter to see the risen Jesus. Don’t forget to gather on Friday to see the cursed and bleeding Jesus. And it was not enough that you were born from Adam, you acted, and even still act like him, too.
You have done that which He said not to do. You have seen that the dainties of life are good to look upon and to eat and to make one wise unto the ways of the world.
We justify ourselves and retreat to our relative goodness. We say that we are Christians and have our acts cleaned up. But by what standard? Do you compare yourself to that vile sinner over there, the one that beats his chest and pleads for the mercy of God to forgive him, a sinner? Or, do you see yourself as relatively better so think yourselves better, indeed?
It is just for such thinking, such fallen Adamic thinking, that our Lord endured the pain and humiliation, the abandonment of His friends and being left to His enemies.
What should we make of this desecration? Shall we lament in sackcloth and ashes? Shall we afflict ourselves, since it was we who should have died in His place? Would we take this cup of woe from Jesus? Would we rescue Jesus from the cross?

Caiaphas said it was expedient for Jesus to die.
The wicked High Priest, Caiaphas, prophesied by the Spirit of God “John 11:47-53 47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
Caiaphas thought that Jesus would die and save the Jews from the wrath of the Romans. He said it would be expedient for Jesus to die. How little he knew how much truth he spoke. It was expedient for Jesus to die.
Jesus died for the Jews and the Romans and all of them who are far or near, as many will declare the blessing of the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who came in the name of The Father.
This expedient death, not to put an end of the disciples of Christ, as Caiaphas thought, but as a means to gather all the children of God to Jesus.

Jesus also said it was expedient for Him to die.
John 16:7   Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
We would not take back the strokes that Jesus bore. We must not take Him from the cross. We must not despise the humiliation of our Savior, our humiliation in embracing the accursed cross. We preach Christ and Him crucified. 1 Cor.1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Jesus must die to defeat death. He made a show of His enemies openly on the cross, triumphing over them in it. His triumph is our triumph. The devil is judged. He is found guilty. The power of death and hell and the devil is utterly destroyed in the death of our righteous Lord. His was an expedient death, indeed.

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