Can missionaries find encouragement from the events that took place on a very BAD day that has been re-described as something GOOD? A few days ago Pastor Jeff Jackson shared these thoughts with the Shepherd’s Staff missionaries that are serving around the world.
I’ve been thinking about the label that His people have given to this day over the centuries–GOOD Friday.
And I’m absolutely convinced that on the actual day He was crucified, not one of the people who loved and served Him would have described it as a GOOD day.
They must have perceived it as a horrible, horrific, and completely unexpected event–a very BAD day.
Maybe even the worst day they had ever experienced.
Although He had told them about that day in various ways and at key moments during His time with them, clearly, they had no idea that what actually happened to Him that day was in reality, the fulfilment of what was written in God’s word and what He already spoken to them about.
Without the passage of time that unfolded following His death and a specific event that took place on the third day, (which is the BIGGER PICTURE), referring to the day of His crucifixion as a GOOD day would be absolutely inconceivable.
With that reality in mind, what the Lord is encouraging me with this Easter weekend and what I hope to encourage each of you with is this:
It is natural and right to refer to certain events that take place at specific moments using words like: horrific, surreal, mind-numbing, disappointing, etc.
But with the passage of time and God’s sovereign ability to redeem any situation for His glory, our true good, and the true good of others, He can and will empower us to view those events and refer to those events using terminology that may be completely opposite of what we had previously used.
We’ll use terminology that springs forth from either our trust in Him by faith, or from actually seeing and understanding the event in the light of the BIGGER PICTURE.
You may be feeling that your impact for Him has been minimal at best since your arrival on the field.
If so, trust that with the passage of time and His sovereign power working out the BIGGER PICTURE that He has had planned from eternity, there will come a time when you will be able to refer to this season of your life and ministry as GOOD.
I’d like to share a final thought that I think many of you will find as interesting as I do, based on this verse:
[Mat 27:54 NKJV] 54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
A Roman centurion and a group of his soldiers were eyewitnesses to His crucifixion and the extraordinary events that surrounded it.
Somehow, they caught a glimpse of the BIGGER PICTURE of who actually being crucified right in the midst of it all taking place, and came to the conclusion that Jesus truly was the Son of God.
Men who were not of His own ethnicity and were probably not worshipers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had something GOOD happen to their understanding of Who was on that cross.
At the same time that His followers probably abandoned their belief that He may have been the Son of the God, these Gentile soldiers came to that exact conclusion.
They grasped that it wasn’t just a man they crucified, He really was the Son of God.
With the passage of time and God’s power displayed, His own followers would catch up to what the soldiers had already concluded.