What we now call “Good Friday” seemed like an absolute tragedy to those who knew and loved Jesus on the day He was crucified–but it wasn’t. There was something bigger going on. SSMF missionary Pastor Ed Compean who serves with his wife in Nairobi, Kenya, unveils his thoughts on the terrorist attack that took place yesterday, the connection to Good Friday, and the kind of news that should also be heard.
We have received many emails and messages asking about us and our loved ones here in Kenya relative to the horrific attack in Garissa yesterday.
To the best of our knowledge, we do not know anyone involved, but everyone we know is heartbroken. Garissa is very far from Nairobi, and we are spending Holy Week in Kisumu, which is even further.
In relation to Good Friday and the recent events, I would like to offer a couple thoughts.
2 Cor 4:8-11 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (Written by Paul–an abnormal minister explaining normal life).
God was there
In days of trials God is there.
On the first Good Friday God was there.
Today in Kenya, God is here.
In His own time of persecution and murder Jesus asked, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from me,” the Father was there, even as the Son continued, “nevertheless, not my will, but your will be done.”
On the first Good Friday, Jesus was persecuted, suffered, and died for our sins–but He was not forsaken.
Jesus died for those who were killing Him, and even in hope for those who killed in Garissa yesterday.
God is love and His great love for rebellious humankind beat death then, and it can beat death now.
From here and now, I pray for Shebab terrorists, for the affected families, for the responders and for all involved in the tragedy in Garissa.
I pray they would know His love and the power of His resurrection.
God was there in the worst day of human history, as He was in Garissa yesterday.
Sunday is coming.
We are here
It is striking how the death of Jesus is so briefly recorded in the four gospel accounts. I suspect the authors did not like to recall the first Good Friday and wanted to get to the resurrection.
In many ways, I’m thankful for the brevity of words.
The death of Jesus on the cross needed to happen, and we should always be in remembrance, but when I meditate on Jesus, I like His life and resurrection. Nevertheless, let us never forget the suffering, it was for us, and it is for us.
Paul implores us to carry the dying body of Jesus, so that His life can be manifested in our body.
Jesus, Paul, and hopefully we, walk as the condemned.
Jesus knew from the beginning that His time was short, that He had a date with the cross.
Similarly, from His conversion outside of Damascus, Paul lived as a condemned man.
Most of us will not suffer for our faith as Jesus did, as Paul did, as some of those in northern Kenya did.
With exceptions, we generally have it easy.
As has been said, we are not dying for Jesus, but He has chosen us to live for Him.
We live for Him by carrying around His body, being willing to be delivered up to death so that Jesus can be manifested in our life.
On this Good Friday there is perfect opportunity to manifest the body of Christ in our mortal flesh.
We carry and manifest His body by carrying and manifesting love.
There is much rhetoric, hatred and tribalism over yesterday’s tragic events.
The spreaders of these things only continue the will of the enemy.
They continue terrorism.
Love is showing Jesus by loving and praying for our enemies and NOT becoming the tools of our greater enemy who hates God and hates His people.
This is the time to reach out in love to our Islamic friends, Somali neighbors and all people living in fear.
This is the time to put to death our flesh, even as Jesus did on the day He was beaten, mocked and murdered.
Manifest love, not hatred.
There is good news
The Good News is Jesus is not dead. He lives to make intercession for us (Rom 8:34).
We often and appropriately think of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father, but it is interesting that He is seen standing to receive His martyred saint, Stephen (Acts 7:56).
I believe Jesus stood yesterday to receive those who are His.
That is the God News of the gospel of Jesus Christ–He receives His own.
Make no mistake, yesterday was the work of the enemy, the one who hates your soul and does whatever he can to separate you from the love of God.
The news is full of his–the enemy’s news.
BUT, God is at work.
Let us not forget Good Friday, then and now, is about the good news that Jesus shed His own blood that He could purchase His church (Acts 20:28).
Sunday is coming.
Wednesday of this Holy Week we went to visit the sites of a couple of new church plants.
One among a largely unreached group of Maasai and another in an area strongly influenced by occultic practices.
The Good News is Jesus purchased those fledgling churches and His love is spreading.
That is so much better than what we are hearing from the majority sources.
My thoughts this Holy Week are of the great love of God who defeated death then, and still defeats death in the midst of the works of the enemy.