GOOD FRIDAY – GREAT FRIDAY

Last week was my fortieth birthday… Actually, it was my fortieth spiritual re-birth day.

Good Friday 1972 wasn’t just a good Friday…it was the best Friday – even the best day – of my life. I made the best decision of my life  that day: I asked Jesus to forgive me for all my bad decisionsaka sins – of the past, especially regarding my abuse of alcohol and drugs, and a flirtation with the occult.

Just before this, a particularly soul-jarring event convinced me that I was headed for self-destruction. If something didn’t change, it would be my undoing, and the end of my marriage. I made attempts to change in the past – to control my use of alcohol – but my resolve always wore thin.

At times I would silently scream, “What’s wrong with me? This is not what I want to do, or who I want to be!” But I felt helpless to change.

My husband and I had just returned from a visit to psychic Edgar Cayce’s Association Center in Virginia Beach, VA. I came away with more questions than answers. I was especially confused – and angry – when a lecturer used the words of Jesus to validate the idea of reincarnation, “You must be born again” (Read the rest of the story in John 3). I had rejected the Bible, and in my mind, was pursuing more enlightened ideas. Who was Jesus, that He would be used as an authority?

When I shared this experience with my sister Nancy, who was a Christian, she suggested I read Hal Lindsay’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth. Reading that Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies regarding His first coming, I understood for the first time who He was: God with skin on. His death was not a tragic turn of events – it was the Plan from the beginning of time: Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23).

Centuries before crucifixion was perfected by the Romans as a means of torturous death, the psalmist David described the very death Christ would die: “They have pierced my hands and feet – I can count all my bones – they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” (Psalm 22:16b-18).

The prophet Isaiah gave the reason for his death: “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6).

No one had to convince me that I was a sinner – my sense of guilt and shame was all the proof I needed. However, now I knew that I needed a Savior.

I was not raised in a church-going family, but on Good Friday of 1972,  I combed the newspaper to find a church service to attend. I chose one that offered a “Contemporary Worship Service.” Fresh from the rock concerts of Pink Floyd and Alice Cooper, a service with guitars and drums sounded like music to this Hippie chick’s ears.

As it turns out, Good Friday was a great day to make the connection between Jesus’ death on the cross and my need for a Savior. The songs and the message that day made it clear that I had come to the right place. I didn’t know any “religious talk,” but I remember telling God that my life was a mess (as if He didn’t know!). I asked Him to forgive me and for a second chance at my life.

I knew I was forgiven – I felt it! I walked out of that church a new woman and never looked back on my old life.  Dave Boyer’s song “Calvary Covers It All” brought tears to my eyes every time I heard it in those early days as a new believer. I knew I had been forgiven much.

My decision to accept Christ as my Savior and commit to following Him was the defining moment of my life. All that I am today stems from that moment in time.

Good Friday 1972 wasn’t just a good Friday…it was the best Friday – even the best day – of my life.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Joy
    Apr 15, 2012

    Beautiful story Kathy. My youngest daughter, my Molly (I know you have a Molly too), recently shared with me that the Good Friday church service is her most favorite of all. I find that very interesting and appreciate she would share this with me.

  2. Joanne Edwards
    Apr 19, 2013

    Kathy, what a great story!

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