Today, Good Friday, we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Easter Sunday, two days hence, is the day He rose almost 2,000 years ago.
Yet what is so “good” about such an event?
The term is a variation on “God’s Friday”. And it represents the episode in world history that has resonated with us over the millennia concerning the most consequential figure ever. Forget Plato, Alexander the Great or Leonardo da Vinci. Jesus rules.
Our very sense of time is measured in terms of the birth of Jesus. Just imagine the chagrin of the atheists who must, with prejudice, describe even the numerical date as 2009 AD – anno Domini – “in the year of our Lord”. Or that their generic substitute for “Christmas” – the word ‘holiday’ – really is a contraction of the words ‘holy day’.
Jesus Christ… Think of some of the 100 names by which He is known – the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, teacher, prophet, the Sovereign of the Universe, the Light of the World, Lord, King of Kings, the Good Shepherd and others. Who else is so described in such diverse and uplifting terms?
Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday at the time of the Jewish Passover to challenge both Jewish authority and more crucially the Roman power with which the Jews coexisted, often too cozily in the eyes of Christ. Rome’s governor Pontius Pilate certainly tracked the troublemaker’s every move, and planned a cruel end because Pilate represented a despotic dictatorship known for its ruthlessness. Rome was truly an evil empire.
When Jesus challenged Jewish authority by upending commerce in the Temple, he was highlighting himself for imprisonment, torture and certainly worse. And by preaching the glory of God over the kingdom of Rome, He was certainly sealing his fate.
Over the centuries as Rome fell under its own God-less and materialistic weight, the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection spread, grew and expanded exponentially. Today we know that all the important world advancements since then – religious, technological, philosophical, artistic, scientific – evolved in JudaeoChristian nations.
Yet today we see an ungrateful EuroAmerica heading for the same sad fate as Rome. Observe our agnostic cities, full of shops of trinkets and swimming in ill-gotten gain. Look at the counterfeit celebrity many venerate. Consider president Obama and his wife who were feted in Europe with a sycophantic, immature and slavish adoration while the churches of that Continent sit almost empty.
We know the European mass murderers who have led the atheist charge… Marx, Hitler, Stalin… each now suffer with the same timeless stigma that never will be expunged from their legacies. Euro philosopher Nietzsche proclaimed that “God is dead” and then descended into madness.
America was founded on Biblical principles of truth, optimism and light. Do not believe the “separation of church and state” canard. That was one quote by Thomas Jefferson taken out of context, while separationist proponents ignore the Christian nature of our founding including these two quotes from Jefferson himself about religion:
“The liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will (is) a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.”
“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?”
Separation of church and state? Do not be misled.
Our nation has needed no other laws if we live only by the Old Testament’s Ten Commandments which the atheists wish to delete from our lives along with morality, piety and virtue exchanged for nihilism, selfishness and vice. The result of that obliteration? Lawlessness, murder, mayhem and poverty, both real and of the spirit. Since when do school children kill each other? Since Christian prayer has been banned from schools, that is when.
Our Founding Fathers rejected decadent European materialism for equality and freedom based on the codes of the Jews. That Jesus was a dissenting Jew does not make us any less grateful to the Israelites and their Old Testament for its wisdom. That Jesus died on the cross on “Good Friday” to pay our sin debt makes him not only our leader but our light, our truth and our Father.
America is said to be a “God-fearing” nation that “worships” the Supreme Being. These are powerful words – fear and worship. But they are not the meanings that secularism suggests. As Christians we understand what it means to “fear” God. It is a good fear. And to “worship” Him is only His due in His greatness.
It is today’s fear and worship of the false prophets that must alarm us. Obama’s friendly media – the same that utterly hated a believing Christian like George Bush – is a most dangerous agency. They are building a cult of personality that can only lead us to harm.
With our Christian heritage under withering assault, we must stand firm against the half-truths, distortions and lies of agnostic secularism. We must state without equivocation that it is decadent materialism that Jesus decried, and that this materialism is a trait of decline, one that certainly would please Pilate and his Roman despots and today’s lovers of money and luxury.
We can only hope that the long-standing culture of peace and truth advocated by a Lord who lived and died millennia ago will come back into fashion in at least some of the American precincts from which it has been exiled. And then we will see a national revival as never before that will bring us back to the universality and goodness that Jesus Christ always has represented, and always will.
Happy Easter to all…
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