Are you planning on spending some time with a good friend over Easter weekend? Perhaps you’ve decided to go see a movie together or meet for lunch. But have you ever asked yourself how to share God within your friendship?
Our day to day lives are so busy that we often feel like our plates are overflowing. With ample amount of technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to catch up with a friend through email or by exchanging text messages. While it’s a useful tool that enables us to quickly check-in with them, many times we’re left feeling as though we’re lacking quality time with that person.
Over the weekend I met up with one of my dearest friends, and our plans included going for a long hike followed by a relaxing lunch. While walking, we began discussing how each of us were going to be spending Easter weekend. The conversation started with typical things such as what we’d be preparing for Easter dinner, how we are going to color eggs with the kids, and what time we would be attending church services. As we continued our hike, our subject matter became increasingly meaningful. We’d shifted our discussion from general holiday festivities to the true meaning and significance of Good Friday and Easter.
We talked about how Jesus had foreseen the betrayal of Judas, and we discussed in detail what occurred from that point up through the crucifixion and resurrection. We stopped, surrounded by the silence and beauty of nature, closed our eyes and tried to truly imagine what it was like to live during that time period. We discussed how we could find no words to fully describe how incredible it must have been for those who were graced with the presence of Jesus while he walked the Earth in human form. The conversation continued and we reviewed the horrendous torture that Jesus endured prior to, and during his crucifixion. Through all that He endured, He did not judge, and He made the ultimate sacrifice to save us.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. —John 3:16-17
Have you ever listened to the very powerful Christian song by Jeremy Camp titled “This Man?” In the lyrics of this verse, Camp asks, “Would you take the place of this man, would you take the nails from His hands?” So, we each took a moment to ponder this incredibly intense question. And in doing so, we were quickly reminded of what is really important in life, rather the minuscule things that we get caught up in. If you haven’t heard this song before, take a few minutes and listen to the words. Now, I’ll ask you the same question: Would you take the place of this man, would you take the nails from His hands?
My friend and I began the last mile of the hike, and our dialogue focused on the Resurrection of Jesus. This act is not only a display of the unparalleled power of God to raise the deceased, but also serves as the foundation for which Christianity is built upon. Our faith is our strength and we can nurture and expand it each and every day. Perhaps one of the most momentous scriptural documents from this period of time is that of the Great Commission. It marks the final instruction that the Disciples received from Jesus before He ascended to Heaven.
Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.—Matthew 28:18-20
When thinking back on the many times I’ve spent with my dear friend, this was one of the most emotional and profound conversations we’ve had thus far. So now I challenge you, plan a date with a friend and make sharing God’s Word the focus of your time together.