So I attended a Good Friday service this evening. Was actually hoping that it would be great! Then again, I've never actually attended a Good Friday service in my life. So I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
Overall, I felt disappointed with the "message" that was given. Because in honesty, I wouldn't even consider it worthy enough to represent Good Friday.
Now you may be wondering how on earth a Good Friday service was not even worthy of Good Friday. But, I find the reason quite legitimate.
There was this one, seemingly overriding theme. And it's really quite scary.
The "Power of the Cross".
Sounds quite innocent, right? Basically, it is. That is, until it becomes the absolute center of focus. Yeah, I see the point behind it, and where they were coming from, but in reality, I would venture to say that the cross, in and of itself, merits little importance. At least to an extent.
Throughout the entire service, this idea was continuously conveyed through song, word, and image. Virtually all that was communicated dealt with "the cross".
Now you may start thinking that I'm a cross-hater, and that I deem it as this utterly unimportant symbol.
But until you think about this logically, you may continue in that thought.
So again, I'll say it another time. "The Power of the Cross".
And if it hasn't started making you almost cringe at those words, then I think you should stop and think for a bit.
I'll explain to the best of my ability.
The cross. Used so many times throughout history in the capital punishment by lethal crucifixion. Those condemned by law or through whatever means would be hung on a cross, nailed to it, speared, and/or tortured by various means. I'm no scholar in this area, but it seems that crucifixion was quite common, and still quite brutal throughout.
By saying this, I do not, by any means, intend to take any focus off of Christ and His crucifixion. What I am getting at is the whole intentional focus on strictly the cross.
Which is basically all that I heard tonight. And if I were to not know otherwise, I would have left thinking about how, essentially, the cross has saved me. Which obviously, holds very strong false doctrine.
Am I saying that at the church, that they absolutely denied the death of Christ? No. I know that for sure they know it's in Christ. However, it seems that they lost the complete focus of Good Friday.
Christ died in order to bear God's wrath in our stead. Something that we should be truly grateful for. Through Christ's death, we have received the atonement for our sins, and redemption in Jesus Christ.
That said briefly, we should not forget "the reason for the season" (Oh how I can't stand that line!).
Instead, we need to FULLY remember what Good Friday is all about. Even Easter. Too often do we simply forget about Christ in the entire scenario, oh so subtly. Yes, we know Christ died to redeem us. Yes, we know the entire story. Yes, we know it's not about silly rabbits and dyed eggs.
However, we cannot forsake the Gospel of Christ in place of a symbol.
The cross in and of itself holds NO power.
Christ's death holds ALL the power.
So don't completely shove off the cross as some meaningless symbol. And don't place it above the deity of Christ. Instead, use it to remember that Christ died to redeem His people.
Because I'm pretty sure an inanimate cross didn't save me...