Having recently enjoyed a fabulous Good Friday service with our local churches at the LEX in Lindsay, Ontario I thought I would re-share the message here as many have talked to me about how it ministered to them.  Perhaps, through the Holy Spirit it will minister to you too.

My name is Pastor Phil Styles.  I’ve had the privilege of serving at Cambridge Street Baptist Church since November 2016.

Two things you need to know about me.  One, I love Jesus.  Amen?  Two, Good Friday kind of excites me!  Why?  Hebrews 12:2 says, “For the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  As much as there is a roller coaster of emotions in the Easter narrative, with Jesus as my role model, I’m going to lean into the joy set before Jesus.

I want to try and explain it through a story Dr. Tony Campolo tells …

Tony shares how he was at a southern black congregation … It was a Good Friday service with 5 preachers bringing it!  Tony Campolo said he preached a great sermon, but then the Black preacher beside him got up and preached such a powerful message that the entire congregation was saying “Amen” and “Hallelujah” and “Preach it Brother!”  The sermon went something like this.

It’s Friday…Jesus is praying. Peter is sleeping. Judas is betraying… But Sunday is coming.

It’s Friday…temple guards are swarming.  A naked disciple is running. Confusion is mounting… but Sunday is coming!

It’s Friday… Mary is crying.  Peter is denying.  But Sunday is coming.

It’s Friday … Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter… but Sunday is coming!

It’s Friday…Pilate is struggling. Counsel is conspiring.  The crowd is vilifying.  They don’t even know that Sunday is coming!

It’s Friday… Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spat upon.  “Prophecy! Who hit you?” the guards jeered.  They still don’t realize that it’s only Friday, but Sunday is coming!

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather whip that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow.   They mock him as King.  But Sunnnday’s coming!

It’s Friday.  The crowd is screaming.  Barabbas is laughing.  He thinks he is free from prison, but he’ll soon learn that his freedom is only temporary because it’s just Friday, Sunday is coming!

It’s Friday. The cynics were lookin’ at the world and saying; “You can’t change anything.” But those cynics didn’t know it was just Friday. Sunday is coming!

It’s Friday.  “What is truth” is a phrase that weighs heavy in the wind.  Who is in control?  Where is God?  Is the law sufficient?  Is Jesus the Messiah?  Questions of the soul.  Oh, if only we would understand those are the questions for Friday.  But we know, Sunday is coming!

*** Ah Church, you’re leaving me hanging! … I said it was a Black congregation with the people exclaiming, “Amen!”  Hallelujah!”  Sunday is coming!  Help me out Church!

It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming!

See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross. Mockers and scoffers all around.  “If you’re really the Christ, come down and save yourself.”  They think he’s just a man.  They don’t understand it’s only Friday.  BUT SSSSUNDAY is coming!

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. Oh my Jesus you know, Sunday is coming.

It’s Friday.  Two criminals are hanging beside my sinless, pure, holy, Jesus.  One hurls insults crying, “Aren’t you the Christ?  Save yourself and us!”  My Jesus is silent.  He knows, Sunday is coming.

It’s Friday.  The other criminal hanging beside the spotless Lamb of God has a change of heart.  He sees Sunday.  He isn’t looking just in the present, or locked in the past.  He sees the glow of Sunday and says, “JESUS, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  And my Jesus, oh my Jesus, my Jesus answers him saying, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise!”  This convict understood something amazing.  SUNDAY IS COMING!

It’s Friday. Jesus is fully aware of what is happening.  He knows his time has come!  He knows the prophecies have been fulfilled.  Pushing his feet down upon the nails in his feet Jesus fills his lungs and cries out “It is finished!”  Because Jesus knows, Sunday is coming!

And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful people from our Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday is coming!

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Satan thought he destroyed the Son of God.  But that was Friday.  Sunday Is COMING!

It’s Friday.  Jesus’ body is taken from the cross and buried in a tomb.  Mary weeps.  Peter hides. Judas hangs.  It’s Friday. But Sunday is coming!

It’s Friday.  The religious leaders ask for the tomb to be sealed and a Roman guard to be posted in case the disciples steal the body.  They still didn’t understand that it was only Friday… Sunday is coming!

The disciples gather in fear and wonder about their future survival.  If only they understood that it was only Friday! Sunday is coming!

*** According to Campolo, this went on for 2 hours!  We only have a few minutes left so please stand as we honor our LORD!

It’s Friday.  MY Jesus, My Saviour, defeats Death, Sin and the grave. NOW EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED. Because it’s no longer Friday, Sunday has come!

The Lamb of God has become the Lion of Judah.  Because it’s no longer Friday, Sunday has come!

The grace and love of God is released in untold measures.  Salvation by faith is freely given.  The resurrection power is unbound.  And my people, if we only understood, that it’s no longer Friday – BECAUSE SUNDAY HAS COME!

The voice of the grave has been silenced.  The voice of God resounds with glory and truth.  My Jesus, Your Jesus, Our Jesus will return again in the very same way he left because it’s no longer Friday, Sunday has COME!  Amen?!

Dr. Tony Campolo said the pastor never grew tired of saying, “It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming!”  But according to Tony Campolo at the end of the message the Pastor yelled, “It’s Friday!!!”  and all the people responded in one loud voice, “BUT SUNDAY IS COMING!”

Hebrews 12:2 “For the joy set before him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

We all need this hope.  This perspective.  This joy!  We all need Jesus.  You can continue to live complaining about life like it’s still Friday, or you can enter the joy, hope, love and resurrection power of Sunday and live differently.

As the band comes, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to choose which lifestyle I’ll live.  I chose Jesus.  I chose hope.  Is anything holding you back from choosing Jesus and hope too? …

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