Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday Falls on the Annunciation A Rare Event

Christians all over the world remember the day Jesus died on the cross for our sins so we might have eternal life if we believe in him.  He carried the cross after being scourged by Roman Soldiers with leather ropes attached with bone pieces cut from a lamb's pelvis.  The sharp edges penetrated Jesus's flesh.    His open wounds were bleeding as he took each step up the steep incline to the hill he would be crucified.  Good Friday falls on March 25, the traditional day of observing the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her she would become pregnant with Jesus.  Mary received the news with joy.  "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word," she told the angel.

Mary received the news with gladness in her heart as she became the mother of Jesus, our savior and Lord.  Thirty three years later she must see him die on the cross.  But she received joy again when she found out he had risen and his body was not in the tomb.  Jesus appeared to over 500 people to show his resurrection from the grave.  

When Good Friday falls on March 25 the Catholic Church pushes the Annunciation celebration to later in the year.  Many Christians throughout the ages have pondered the contrasts of joy and suffering.  When Jesus died on the cross for our sins the suffering makes way for great joy, the salvation of the world.   

After the Last Supper Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane at the Mount of Olives.  Jesus prayed,
"Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done," Luke 22:42.  Jesus prayed so intensely that " his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground." Luke 22:44.  Science tells us that people may emit a bloody sweat when in a very emotional state.  The sweat glands are hemorrhaging.  God the Father sent an angel to strengthen Him.  Luke 22:43.
Jesus decided to suffer on the cross because he loved each one of us.  He wanted us to have freedom if we believe in him.  But he knew the sacrifice he was making.  What Jesus bore for us was more than enough to cover every one of our sins.  He redeemed us from every curse of the Law. Galations 3:13.  By Jesus's stripes we are healed 1Peter 2:34.  It is finished.

On the way to the cross the soldiers made cruel jokes about Jesus. 

 They made him a crown out of pieces of sharp branches. Jesus had to carry his own wooden cross made of two heavy pieces of wood that the soldiers tied together.  As the soldiers fastened him to the cross with nails he prayed to God.
He said,"Father, forgive them."
When Jesus appeared to the disciples he said to them,
" Peace be with you."
When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side.  Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  John 20;19-20
Paul says in I Corinthians 15; 3-7
"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received; that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, an that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.  After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.  After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles." 

  The overlap of Good Friday falling on the Annunciation  happened three times in the 20th century; 1910, 1921, and 1932.  It will happen twice in the 21st century 2015 and 2016.  Good Friday won't fall on March 25th until 2157.  
There is great suffering in the world but Jesus said in John 16;33
"I have told you these things so that in ME you may have peace. 
 In the world you will have tribulation.  But take courage;
I have overcome the world!"

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