As a child, Good Friday meant one major thing to me - Fish Sticks for Breakfast. I don't really remember eating fish sticks often, so anytime I see them now, or eat them, I think of good Friday in the Warren household.
Jonathan would be in charge of the fire, since he was always ok with getting up early if it included fires, he would build a fire in our backyard, Jen and I would roll out of bed at the last possible minute and the whole family, would go to the back yard and sit on blankets around the fire and eat Fish Sticks and Eggs for breakfast. Mom would usually have little Rye rolls as well - This was good Friday breakfast for us. We were really celebrating after Jesus' ressurection when he appeared to the disciples and cooked breakfast for them when they came ashore after trying to catch fish. They ate the fish they had just caught... so we had the 20th cent. version of fresh fish... Fish sticks. Dad would read the easter story, we would have some concrete spikes laying next to our plates, and hold those against our wrists as dad talked so as to imagine for just a moment the pain that our Savior went through as He died for us. We would then have a prayer time.
The rest of the day was usually uneventful other than the burping of fish sticks all day... But the mornings stood out to me. I don't remember when we had our last family breakfast on Good Friday. Its one of those things that got harder and harder to do once we got in college and started moving away... I miss it though. It might even be a tradition I carry on once the are children in the Mayhew home... We shall see.
I hate the way Good Friday is skipped over in American tradition. We remember all facets of Christmas, and that is good... however, without Good Friday - the death of our Lord... and Easter - the ressurrection, Christmas would have no meaning. It would just be another day.
He was wounded for OUR transgressions, He was bruised for OUR iniquities.... and BY HIS STRIPES we are healed! Today is the remembrance of this. My transgressions, my iniquities... they are healed because of the stripes, the nails, the crown of thorns and the spear.
The crucifixion was not God's backup plan, it was His original plan. "It pleased the Father." This is such a picture of the love of God for us, His creation. He was pleased to offer His Son for our redemption.
Whoa, I could go on and on... .but I won't - Just remember, today is different. Today is the remembrance of the day Jesus died. The day His followers didn't understand what was going on. The day His mother had to think back on the little child that had been born in Bethelem just 33 years earlier and have memory slide shows of her little boy growing up. The day the temple vail was torn in half and the presence of God was now available to all men. The day the sky turned black in the middle of the day because God had turned His back away from His Son... not becuase of shame... but because our Holy God couldn't bear to be in the presence of the sin that was on the shoulders of His own Son. But this day was more than that. It was different. It was the beginning of a new period of History. It was the day that the sacrifice on the cross... the most cruel form of punishment ever imagined by the depraved human mind, bought us a chance for eternity with God! Wow!!!
I leave you with a few phrases.
Jesus paid it all - ALL to Him I owe, Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. Hallelujah, what a Savior, Hallelujah what a Friend! Jesus, what a friend for sinners, Jesus lover of my soul. How marvelous, how wonderful, and my song shall ever be - How marvelous, how wonderful is My Savior's Love for me.