This community opinion was contributed by Matt Kirkland, Hollister campus pastor with South Valley Community Church. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.
This Friday is the day Christians all over the world remember the death of Jesus on a cross. The day has been called Good Friday for hundreds of years. There is not consensus on why they call such an infamous day “good,” but it most likely comes from the old English definition of “good” as “holy.” So, it is appropriate for Christians to commemorate the day in many ways. Some traditions have noon services, some prefer the evening (under dark skies). Some remember through communion, others through fasting and prayer. One thing that unites all believers around the world is that the work of the cross was only temporary: the power of the cross was limited, and the effect of this torture device would be changed from despair to a symbol of hope in three days.
So much of what Jesus did was counter-cultural. His teachings, His love, His knowledge of The Father, they were all counter-cultural in His day. If you have not read the New Testament looking for how counter-cultural he was, I would encourage you to open a bible and start in the book of Luke and read it through in one sitting. Jesus really knew how to rock the boat (literally at times). His counter-cultural teachings and love are still rocking the world thousands of years later.
The most counter-cultural thing Jesus did was rise from the dead. I like the way Tim Keller finishes this thought: “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”
If you would like to remember the work of Jesus on Good Friday with other believers in San Benito County, there is a community-wide service being held at Hillside Christian Fellowship (281 San Felipe Road) Friday evening at 7 p.m. While Hillside Christian Fellowship is hosting this year, other churches participating include Christ Fellowship, Abundant Life Church, South Valley Community Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal, and others. We hope you might consider joining us, as it is important to remember.