Good Friday

Daily Reading Plan: Luke 23:44-46, Hebrews 4:16
 
Today is Good Friday. If we had been a Christ-follower in Jerusalem that day, we wouldn’t have considered it a “good” Friday at all. Jesus had just breathed His last breath on the cruel cross. But as He did, the curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle from top to bottom – by the almighty hand of God. The really good news is that, because of this cruel Friday, we can now “approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” Pray today that you will come boldly to that throne of grace and receive the mercy and grace you need for this season.

 
GOOD FRIDAY

This week we are discussing how Jesus is the True Vine.

In our yard grows a decorative vine that I find amazing. The vine itself is quite thin and the leaves that grow out of it are delicate, but this little vine is tenacious. (And, yes, for a while after we bought the house, I thought it was a weed). Mostly it grows on our chain link fence, but we’ll find new batches of it growing in other random places in the yard -- like on a shrub. It has even been known to attack our air conditioning unit, and I wouldn’t rule out its ability to ensnare a slow-moving Meter Reader. I want to tell you a story about this vine.

Years ago, I decided that although I liked how this vine could hide an old chain link fence; it wasn’t worth having around due to the maintenance. I got tired of keeping it off the air conditioner, so I cut it down and pried all of it off the fence and forgot about it. About two years passed by; and then to my surprise, I discovered that this vine had managed to cover that same old section of fence (and part of the air conditioner) again! If I were really going to get rid of it, I would need to dig it up by the roots later that summer.

I didn’t dig it out it immediately because I was focused on clearing some brush from another part of the yard that had also gotten out of control. After clearing the brush I realized that I had unwittingly exposed the area where my tool shed backs up to my neighbor’s shed, and now I could see stuff like garden hoses, ladders, and other yard junk that we both keep stored back there. I hung my head in disappointment. My planned replacement shrubs would conceal this area eventually, but for a few years it was going to be an eyesore. And then it hit me.

The vine! I went around the yard and found four or five small samples of it and transplanted it along the fence in that area. And this summer I expect it will completely hide the ugly part of our exposed shed. Surely by now you must be asking, just what is the point of this riveting gardening adventure?

In his ignorance, man tried to destroy; but what he tried to destroy came back and saved him by covering his imperfections.

Good Friday, indeed!

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper. Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you” (John 15:1-3 HCSB).

By Mark Stuart

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