Good Friday – Good News!

Today is Easter Sunday. My church back in Chicago called this day Resurrection Sunday. I started writing this post the morning after Good Friday while imagining what it may have been like for the family and friends of Jesus. He has been crucified and died on the cross. Maybe you can relate possibly having grieved a love one lost. However Jesus is not lost. John 2:19 states, “Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (NKJV) However, at that time Jesus’s family and friends have yet to realize and understand what this meant; that He (Jesus) will rise from the dead and in so doing conquer sin and death while also establishing a path to reconciliation, justification, righteousness and more with God Almighty.

But there is more, after Jesus rises from the dead, He returns to the apostles, His family and friends. He establishes the Church empowering the apostles with the gift of the Holy Spirit and directs them to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Jesus instructs the apostles to “teach] them to observe all things that I [Jesus] have commanded you; and lo, I [Jesus] am with you always, even to the end of the age.” See NKJV – Matthew 28:16-20 in its entirety below.

Matthew 28:16-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore[a] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Through the apostles, Jesus extends to the entire world (then as well as now) an invitation to join His Family (The Family of God)! This is GOOD NEWS indeed! Before the ascension of Jesus into Heaven, He provides a Way and an Invitation to join Him in Heaven as members of His Family. John 1:10-12 states when speaking of Jesus…

John 1:10-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own,[a] and His own[b] did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

At City of Grace Church, the church I attend, we “believe that because of the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God freely forgives those who are brought to repentance and faith in His Son. We believe that all who are justified by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.” A common knee-jerk reaction may be forgiveness, why do I need forgiveness? What did I do wrong? Romans 3:23 states, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NKJV), we need to come to God in humility recognizing the God is God and we are not.

If you have not accepted God’s Invitation to Salvation and membership into His Family here is an opportunity to do so. Pray out to God asking for forgiveness and accepting His invitation through Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. Here are a couple of examples of such a prayer:

Example 1:

“Dear God I know I’m a sinner, I know I am not where I want to be, and I want your forgiveness! I believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for my sins. Please wash me clean from all sin, shame, and guilt, come into my life Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I ask this in your name Jesus. Amen!”

Example 2:

“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ who is now and forever my Lord and Savior, Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer WELCOME into the Family of God! It is truly a beautiful relationship you have consummated and a wonderful journey ahead of you. Here are some of the next steps recommended for new believers:

  1. Find a good local church. If you are in the Phoenix Az, Scottsdale Az, or Mesa Az area then I invite you to visit the church I attend (City of Grace, the web address for the church is On the website you will find contact information to one of the three church campuses at the bottom of the webpage and much more!
  2. Grow in your knowledge of God. If you had the opportunity to develop a tremendous friendship wouldn’t you want to spend some time doing that? Reading the Bible is one way of getting to know God. There are many free resources. In my favorites link I provide a few. Also, some churches, mine for example, provide free Bibles to visitors who have just accepted Jesus Christ as Lord.
  3. Continue to pray to God, asking Him to provide opportunities to know Him better.

Again, Welcome to the Family of God!

Categories: My Thoughts

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