Good Friday, Brunswick County.
It is Good Friday and I just was playing some of my favorite Easter hymns on the piano and thinking about the words. The lyrics of one favorite hymn caused me to pause and think.
O Savior, thou who wearest a crown of piercing thorn.
The pain thou meekly bearest weighed down by grief and scorn.
The soldiers mock and flail thee, for drink they give thee gall.
Upon the cross they nail thee to die, O king of all.
As I read those words, I remembered a conversation we had this past week with a group of young Japanese Christians living in Japan. We asked them what Easter traditions existed in Japan.
They replied that there are none.
They explained that the Japanese people celebrate Christmas a little bit with presents, parties, cake and lights and are slightly aware that in the Western World some people talk about Christmas being the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ but that 95% of Japanese folks aren't aware that Easter is all about the suffering, death and resurrection of the Son of God.
They don't even know that the Lord did that for them.
They don't know about the peace that comes from repentance and accepting the Savior.
They are not aware that He conquered death, sin, the grave, the devil, and eternal bondage.
And yet, Jesus did.
And He stands with hands outstretched to welcome them.
Some, when they hear that Cindy and I have been called to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Japanese people have been critical.
“They already have wonderful religious traditions and cultures. Don't go ruin that!”
Or “If it makes them happy, let them believe what they want to believe, don't mess up their lives with something different.”
“But”, I say, “there is only one creator of the world. There is only one judge at the last day. There is only one true God who seeks our eternal happiness and has prepared a way to be clean and resurrected and live forever with our families. Belief in any other God or behavior system does not prepare mankind for salvation and exaltation and life with God the Father.”
They don't have an answer for that. I ask them if they believe that Jesus lives and is their Savior.
They say they aren't sure.
I say, “Well, talk to Him. Ask Him if He loves you. He will answer.”
I know that He will answer from personal experience.
And now, the second verse of that hymn.
No creature is so lowly, no sinner so depraved.
But feels they presence holy, and thru they love is saved.
Though craven friends betray thee
They feel thy love's embrace
The very foes who slay thee
Have access to they grace.
Those last two lines struck a cord in my heart.
I know that my Redeemer lives, what comfort this sweet sentence gives. He lives, He lives.
Happy Day of Resurrection, Brunswick County.
Happy All Graves will be opened Day, Brunswick County.
Happy Jesus paid the price for us to be clean Day.