Friday, April 3, 2015
Illuminating Good Friday Thoughts Come From Unexpected Source
Good Friday is one of the most important days of the year for Christians. Resurrection Sunday (Easter) and Christmas are very special as well.
In the frantic race of writing deadlines, spring break, yard sale, and assorted other obligations and tasks, Good Friday and Easter have somehow just appeared. And here I am, out of time for spending adequate time remembering and anticipating the events leading up to the celebration of the Empty Tomb.
This year, my thoughts and meditations on the meaning of Easter and what Christ had to endure as the sacrificial Lamb were brought to life through a very unexpected source.
I follow several writers' blogs. On one, after commenting, my name was drawn for me to receive a copy of this author's book, The Crimson Cord, Rahab's Story.
With the time lapse of her mailing it (and she did indeed include a lovely note and bookmarks with the package), my personal deadlines, and a few other books I was in the middle of reading, I did not get to read The Crimson Cord, Rahab's Story until this week.
The timing could not have been more perfect. I finished this tale of Rahab (the prostitute who saved spies sent into Jericho and was thereby saved herself from total destruction when the city was obliviated) in two days.
Two days of reading about how life probably looked back before Christ was even born. This story is Old Testament stuff. Jill Eileen Smith uses great detail to allow readers to experience daily living, tasks, challenges, and family events in biblical times. I was transported back to the ancient city and saw Rahab stuck in what I think a very unpleasant vocation.
But somehow, Rahab was drawn to God. She was willing to risk her life to hide Hebrew spies. This led to her being saved when the Hebrew army destroyed all living beings after God caused the walls to fall. God works in mysterious ways.
I won't go into all of the details included in The Crimson Cord, Rahab's Story. It is evident that Smith did her research. As far as the story goes, the most important fact is that Rahab, a woman of the night, ended up believing in the God of the Hebrews, married a man from the tribe of Judah, and is listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
The story was well written and captivating.
What struck me most was Rahab's time in the Hebrew camp after the city was destroyed. That is when she began to learn about the Hebrew God as well as their laws and traditions. That law included the sacrifice of innocent lambs to atone for sins, a necessity in order to be one of God's people and to gain forgiveness for those sins.
The description of Rahab as she viewed her first sacrifice, realizing how many sins she had committed and how unworthy she felt, perfectly tied in to Good Friday. Good Friday, the day we remember how Jesus died on the cross, the Lamb that was slain for our transgressions.
Reading Rahab's story, about Rahab who was included in the lineage of Jesus and was witness to the sacrifices of that day, made me pause and think about the sacrifice given by Christ. How He was the perfect Sacrifice for me. What that sacrifice means and how His sacrifice ended animal sacrifice once and for all. For all who desire it. Freely He gave His life as atonement for my sins. Actually for all sins for all time.
Which would not have worked if the Lamb had stayed dead. But He didn't.
That's what happened on the Third Day. Resurrection. Proof that the Son of God paid the cost for us. No more sacrifices necessary.
Just acceptance of the Gift.
Have a blessed Resurrection Day!
Here is the book I referred to:
The Crimson Cord, Rahab's Story
Written by Jill Eileen Smith
(Revell, Baker Publishing Group, 2015)