I have awakened early on this Friday, the day that Christendom around the world, with thankful hearts, recognizes as “Good Friday.”

Having just returned home from east-central Africa from a missions trip on Wednesday, I am still in a “time adjustment “ mode, so it was natural for me to be awakened early, but my awakening came with Him and His sacrifice for all of us, heavy upon my heart and mind. My awakening came with a song.

Before I went to sleep last night, the third verse to the Swedish Preacher, Carl G. Boberg’s immortal hymn sang to my heart repeatedly, and I awoke with it in my thoughts…….

“And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.”
“Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!”

As the tears fill my eyes this morning, as I share these thoughts with you, I can’t but wonder, do we, in the hustle and bustle of our lives, in a world overloaded with information and constant turmoil, remember the painful price of our redemption?

The most horrible form of death ever devised, crucifixion, by the most cruel men of history, a butchery beyond imagination, spilled the innocent blood of the Son of God to save us from the eternal punishment we both deserved and were destined for.

Do we honor Him properly by allowing Him to sit upon the throne of our own heart, not as a historical figure or chief Bible character, but as the one and only true Lord of our lives?
If He is not our Lord, our very best friend, our true Savior, then, though we know of Him, and though we have knowledge of His existence on earth, we don’t really know Him. We have a knowledge of Jesus, but we do not have a relationship with Jesus.

So today, we will remember that He died on a rocky hill just outside of ancient Jerusalem’s stone walls. Killed by the Romans, men of the Tiber, slaves to Caesar, and worshippers of Mars, the idol god of war. Killed at the insistence of Pharisees and a frenzied mob, at the orders of the Roman Governor of Judea, one Pontus Pilate, who would foolishly wash his hands in a basin of water, to absolve himself of guilt, killing the only one who could save him or any other human on this planet…ever.

Beaten with a flagellant of leather, steel, and bone until his back, shoulders, and thighs are shredded flesh, a crown of sharp and thick Judean thorns hammered upon his head, caking and matting his scalp with blood and scab, his face beaten by strong and hardened men until the prophet declared “his visage was marred more than any man.
He would bare a heavy, crude, splinter-filled cross along rough stone streets to His place of death and then be fastened to that cross with heavy nails, driven by determined executors with solid hammers in their cruel hands……..Oh, how He loved you and me!!

He died that day….that Friday. He died, but He wouldn’t stay dead. He came to conquer, and He would finish His conquest. His killers, and all of Hell itself, could never stop the finish that Heaven had planned. The final part of that finish is unfolding as I write these words this Dawn……..One day soon…. He will Return!

“Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!
Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee,
How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!”

General Director,

Dr. David M. Griffis