Messages from Pastor Raddatz

GOOD FRIDAY, April 10, 2020

GOD’S EYES, Mark 15:21-39

Mark 15:21 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Dear People of God,

Today, is Black Friday because we remember that when Christ was crucified.  It is also Good Friday because God sent his son to the cross to satisfy his wrath for our sins.

WHAT DID GOD THE FATHER SEE ON GOOD FRIDAY?  He saw his only begotten Son suffering and dying unjustly on a Roman cross.  Can you imagine watching your own child die in this way?  It is unfathomable. 

Yet, what’s even more unfathomable is that God loves you so much that He willingly inflicted this on His beloved Son.  St Paul wrote that the Father “did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).

WHAT DID GOD THE SON SEE ON GOOD FRIDAY?  Now for the Son’s perspective.  He always knew his name means THE LORD SAVES.So, He sees himself not only as the object of God anger for our sin, but also the subject of our salvation.  On this day he drinks the suffering meant for you and me down to the last drop.  He cries out, “My God My God, why have you forsaken me.”  While he experiences the Hell of God abandoning him, he also calls out in trust: by crying, “My God, My God”!!!

On Good Friday, Jesus recognizes us as the cause of his woe, but He does not hold this against us!  The Lamb of God bears this willingly.  He wants nothing other than to be your savior.  He looks at us and says, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  He stares into our sinful eyes and says, “I LOVE YOU ALL THE SAME.  I AND MY FATHER LOVE YOU SO MUCH THAT WE WOULD MAKE THIS SACRIFICE FOR YOU.

WHAT DOES GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT SEE?  He comes to Jesus’ aid as he offers himself as our sacrifice for sin.  We do not know all the ins and outs of this.  We cannot fully understand this, but the letter to the Hebrews says that Christ, “through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God” (Hebrews 9:14).

The Spirit also sees everything that God expects of sinners fulfilled by Christ.  Jesus achieved our salvation. Jesus is glorified by being raised from the dead-on Easter morning. 

Here we see the Trinity working in perfect harmony.  The Father gave the Son the task of redeeming mankind.  The Son willingly took this task upon Himself.  And the Holy Spirit joyfully proclaims this message to you so you may enjoy the benefits of the Son’s sacrificial death.

So, now we are participants in the holiness of Jesus.

Always keep this before your eyes and your heart.  When God looks at you, He sees the apple of His eye, His beloved child united with Christ in His death and raised up to new, eternal life with Him.  Amen.

You Fellow Servant, in Christ,

John Raddatz, Vacancy Pastor

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020

Good Friday, April 10, 2020

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday, March 22, 2020