The Place Called Calvary

Day 45

Holy Week – Good Friday

Matthew 27:1-56
Mark 15:1-41
Luke 23:1-49
John 19:1-37

Good Friday. A strange name for the most awful day in history. The day that God died. But it is an apt name. The ultimate testimony of grace. Yet Good Friday only becomes good on Easter Sunday. The two must remain connected or neither one makes any sense.

I don’t know how to tell you how I feel about tonight’s Good Friday service at Word of Life. “Excited” sounds too trite. But whatever the appropriate word is, I have great, shall we say, anticipation, for what will happen tonight. I will say this much: It will be unlike any service we’ve ever had. The Good Friday observance and the Easter Sunday celebrations at Word of Life this weekend are in reality one thing…with 36 hours in between. I really hope that if at all possible you will be with us tonight at 7:30 for this Good Friday observance. Come willing to experience something different.


The Place Called Calvary

Tonight I will talk to you about a place called Calvary. I will take you there. So I will save what I have to say about the sacred place called Calvary for tonight. Instead I will focus my thoughts from today’s reading of the Gospel accounts of the Passion of Jesus on one aspect: Jesus being bound.

Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.

Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

Christ in Chains

Jesus bound. The King confined. Christ in chains. Why? Why was it necessary to send armed soldiers to arrest Jesus and bind Him as a dangerous criminal? It was unnecessary cruelty. Ah, there we have it — it was cruelty, and cruelty is always the offspring of cowardice. They were afraid of Him.

In the picture of Christ bound we see what the sinner would do if he could. The sinner would put God in chains and worse…if he could, the sinner would kill God. What is the fool doing when he says, “There is no God”? He is killing God as best he knows how.

Men binding Jesus. What does it say? If we cannot convince ourselves there is no God, then let us make sure it is a powerless God we believe in. Sinners will attempt to bind God that they might sit in judgment of God. “God, we find the idea of hell intolerable. Therefore we sentence you to a correctional facility until what time you learn your lesson and amend your ways. You must be rehabilitated.” But if God could not be bound by all the power of death, He cannot be bound by the opinions of men.

The binding of Jesus was completely unnecessary. Those bonds did not keep Him from escaping. Had Jesus wanted to escape He could have burst those bonds far easier than Samson burst the ropes the Philistines tried to bind him with. But Jesus was bound. He was bound with cords of love. His love for the Father’s will and His love for fallen humanity were the cords that bound Christ. That and nothing else could hold Him.

And remember that all the suffering of Christ is redemptive. He suffered the cross that we might be forgiven, the stripes that we might be healed, the shame that we might have peace and the bonds that we might be set free.

He did it all for us.

We love Him because He first loved us.

Now may the love of Christ constrain us. (2 Corinthians 5:14)

Christ in chains. Meditate on this holy thought on this Good Friday.