*Good Friday service tonight, 6pm at SVCC.
160 Oxmoor Rd. Homewood, Al. 35209
And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
The untamable sea.
In the ancient mind, the sea was a symbol of all that was uncontrollable and unpredictable. Travel by sea was risky and often cost people in cargo and even took lives.
No one could control the sea.
Yet, the Jewish people claimed to know the God who created all things including the sea. He set limits for where the waves fall on the shoreline (Job 38:8-11). And, when he took on flesh he walked upon the violent waters (Matthew 14:22-33) and calmed them with his voice (Mark 4:35-41). This God could control the sea and bring all it’s evil and mayhem to an end.
In fact, this God has promised to bring all evil and mayhem to an end. Before his throne there is a sea like glass…perfectly stilled, perfectly calmed…never to harm again! Our God will make all things new and for this we will worship!
Through we are afflicted and oppressed, struck down and mistreated, persecuted and even killed…none of that evil wins! God will set all wrongs to rights and we will praise him for his amazing deeds! We will praise him as the almighty one who has brought justice among the nations! We will glorify the holy one who has revealed his righteousness to the world!
Today, Good Friday, we stand amidst the clash of ages…an age of an evil kingdom that is passing away, and an age of the righteous kingdom of God that is breaking in. We see these things clash when we gaze at the cross.
At the cross, God’s holy, right, and good judgment was pour out on Christ as he took on our sin and defeated it. He defeated this age of death. And, at the cross, God’s grace was poured out toward sinful mankind. By faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ, we become citizens of a new kingdom and belong to a new age.
The cross is a symbol of death to the old age of sin, and a symbol of life to the in-breaking age of righteousness. The cross closes the door on one kingdom and opens the door to another. The cross is the reason we will one day stand before the throne of God, beside the crystal sea, and all evil will be done away with and the kingdom of God will arrive in full.
This is why we call this Friday…GOOD.
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.