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On faith: Good Friday’s gift

Pastor Henry D. Nordzy

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church

Castle Danger

What do you think is the most important day in the life of Jesus? I don’t know how many times I have been asked that in my fifty years of ordained ministry. My usual answer is that it is difficult to pick just one, like eating just one Lay’s potato chip. But when forced to select just one, my reasoning follows these lines of thought.

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There would be those who would say His birth, Christmas, because if He had not been born, there would be no future events. And that is true, but simple birth does not bring about a celebrated life. We generally remember the birthdays of people because of what they accomplished in their lives. Hence, we celebrate the birthdays of Washington, Lincoln and Martin Luther King in addition to others because of what the accomplished in their years on this earth, and not simply because they were born. I am sure that not many people are going to remember my birthday on March 7 outside of my family and a few friends.

“Easter,” others would shout. Yes, indeed Easter brings us a victory over death and brings to the believer the assurance that there is a better life that awaits us. The resurrection destroys death and the power of darkness it possesses. Death is an enemy and through the resurrection that enemy is destroyed. Through His resurrection we are freed from the power of death and are granted the gift of salvation.

But as I look at my life and the sinful nature of my fellow human beings, there is a greater need that I have in order to live my life with hope. Who is able to forgive all the things that I have said and done, some with malice and forethought and others with not a hint of what I have done? We all try to forgive, but we often times say: “That is just unforgivable. I will never be able to forgive and forget.”

Yet our loving God, thru His Son, Jesus the Christ, has offered the ultimate sacrifice. He gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sin. Thru sin we become separated from Him and from one another. Thru His sacrifice and death on the cross, we become redeemed, and reunited with Him.

What do you think is the most important day in the life of Christ? To me, Good Friday, the day of atonement, is the day of greatest meaning. It is His death that brings me the total forgiveness of my sin. And the amazing thing about it all is that I did nothing. He did it all. And so we draw to a close another Lenten season. No matter what your answer is to the question, know in your hearts that you are loved, and forgiven. Thanks be to God!