Voices of Faith: Black Friday

Black Friday.

It sounded sinister and somber, like Black September or something similar.

Relief came in learning it is a good day for shoppers finding good deals and retailers operating in the black instead of red in their bottom line.

The phrase reminded me of another Friday that was indeed black with sorrow and suffering.

The ministry of Jesus had shown positive results throughout Palestine. Many of the blind saw, the deaf heard, the mute spoke, and the crippled walked. Dread diseases were healed when the Lord spoke deliverance to the afflicted. Even death was made subservient to the Savior.

His promises of peace and power were received gladly. Teaching truths not heard in a long time or never heard before was what he did consistently. Miracles of many types were done for the needs of the multitudes.

Yet instead of celebrations and parades, opposition arose. Even when Lazarus was raised from the dead after being four days in the tomb, plans for his death as well as for Jesus were made.

That black Friday dawned after the arrest of Jesus. He endured a beating at the hands of Roman soldiers. Pilate, the Roman governor, ordered Jesus whipped, perhaps in an attempt to avoid crucifixion. However, the final verdict was, “Crucify him.” Ironically, a murderer named Barabbas was set free and Jesus, the miracle worker, was sent to the cross.

Two criminals sentenced to the same fate made their way up the hill with Jesus. Roman soldiers performed their terrible tasks efficiently and callously, without a hint of compassion. With spikes they nailed the victims to the cross and then stood them upright. The cries of the suffering joined the sobs of the onlookers.

For six hours they hung there. This “black Friday” was made even darker when the sun didn’t shine for three hours in the middle of the day. The earth shook in an earthquake. These things made the Roman centurion say, “Truly this was the Son of God.”

Yet, though this Friday was dark and full of despair, Sunday is coming.

“Black Friday” dominated the thoughts of the disciples of Jesus the next two days. They couldn’t get the image of him dying out of their minds. They didn’t remember his words about rising the third day.

Sunday arrived with startling news. Reports of his resurrection came from several sources; angels, women at the tomb, a pair of disciples, all reported the tomb is empty! Then Jesus appeared to his disciples saying, “Peace be unto you.” He knew the dread that was in their hearts and wanted to calm their fears.

Over a forty-day period he was with his disciples with reassuring presence and more promises. He ascended into heaven and angels appeared, assuring the disciples of his return. His Spirit came on the waiting disciples and they rejoiced in that experience and in the power of his name (Acts 2:38).

What a reason we have for being grateful this Thanksgiving and every season. Not only was there a “black Friday”, there was also a resurrection Sunday!

 

Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road and Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study is at 7:00 p.m. (sterlingpentecostalchurch.com)

More in Life

Ward off Halloween’s mystical monsters with these garlic-infused cheesy shells and pepper sauce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tasty Halloween

Keep spooky creatures at bay with garlic-infused shells and pepper sauce.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Let there be lights!

When I stopped in at one of our local stores, I didn’t cringe when I saw all the holiday decorations on display.

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

This undated John E. Thwaites photo, perhaps taken near Seward, shows the S.S. Dora grounded. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 3

Her long career had come to an end at last.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

Pieces hang on display at the Kenai Art Center for the open call show on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘They felt like they could share with us now’

Art center open call offers space for new artists.

The Cosmic Hamlet Entertainment film crew prepares for a new scene to roll on the set of “Bolt from the Blue” at the Kilcher Homestead on Sept. 28. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
‘Bolt from the Blue’ film features Homer

“The Office” star Kate Flannery cast in feature film produced in Homer.

These old-fashioned doughnuts don’t skimp on the fat or sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Memories of old-fashioned doughnuts

My recipe is for old-fashioned doughnuts, and since I make these maybe twice a year, I don’t skimp on the sugar and fat.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: October is here again

The days are shorter. We are losing nearly six minutes a day. It’s getting colder.

This John E. Thwaites photo shows the S.S. Dora near Sand Point, Alaska. Thwaites sailed as mail clerk on the Dora between at least 1905 and 1912. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 2

The S.S. Dora touched lives on and became part of the history of the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska.

Steller Sea Lions can be seen in an enclosure at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska SeaLife Center to Alaskans: We’re still here for you

You rallied and kept us alive. Today, we’re writing to say thank you.