Good Friday...and why was it good? 
Good Friday...
and why was it good?

Today we celebrate Good Friday which is traditionally celebrated as the day Jesus died on the cross. All day, Catholics and Protestants across denominations and nations will observe the day with services, Scripture readings, prayer, and retellings of Christ’s death on the cross. Some families choose to have a service of remembrance at home. Although God does not require us to celebrate Good Friday, but it can be a powerful practice to intentionally remember the pain Jesus went through both before and during His crucifixion. It can also be a preparation for the joy that comes when we will celebrate Easter together on Sunday.

One thing that I never understood was “why do we refer to it as 'good' Friday?” Although there was nothing good about the day when Jesus suffered and died, the outcome certainly is! It was the day Jesus became the perfect, sacrificial Lamb who shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins (Romans 5:8; 6:23; 1 Peter 3:18). This was the greatest act of love known to man, God the Father sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place. And because of the resurrection, we who place our trust in Him believe in a living Savior, not a God who is dead. (John 14:1–3).

Although Netcast is not in a position to gather today for service, I do want to encourage those of us who call Netcast their home. Be intentional today; talk about Jesus, talk about His death and look forward to Sunday when we gather together to celebrate the miracle of His resurrection.

Here is an outline of what the past 24 hours would have looked like for Jesus... 

Jesus' last moments with his disciples. 
  • The Last Supper 
(Matthew 26:20-30; Mark 14:17-26; Luke 22:14-38; John 13:21-30) 
  • In the Garden of Gethsemane 
(Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-45) 
  • Jesus is Betrayed and Arrested 
(Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11) 
Jesus is taken into custody. 
  • Jesus Stands Trial Before Pilate 
(Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 15:2-5; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-37) 
  • Jesus Sent to Herod 
(Luke 23:6-12) 
  • Jesus Returned to Pilate 
(Luke 23:11) 
  • Jesus is Sentenced to Death 
(Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; Luke 23:23-24; John 19:16) 
  • Jesus is Led Away to Calvary 
(Matthew 27:32-34; Mark 15:21-24; Luke 23:26-31; John 19:16-17) 
Jesus is Crucified on the Cross
  • Luke 23:34 - Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." 
  • The Soldiers Cast Lots for Jesus' Clothing 
(Mark 15:24) 
Jesus is insulted and mocked 
  • Mark 15:31 - The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. 
  • Luke 23:36-37 - The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 
  • Luke 23:39 - One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him. 
 Jesus speaks. 
  • John 19:26-27 - When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, "Woman, he is your son." And he said to this disciple, "She is your mother." And from then on this disciple took her into his home. 
  • Matthew 27:46 - And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
  • Jesus said, "I am thirsty."A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 
  • John 19:30 - When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" 
Luke 23:46 - Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. 
Events following Jesus' death. 
  • Matthew 27:51-52 - At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 
  • The Centurion - "Surely he was the Son of God!" 
(Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:47) 
  • The Soldiers Break the Thieves' Legs 
(John 19:31-33) 
  • The Soldier Pierces Jesus Side 
(John 19:34) 
  • Jesus is Laid in the Tomb 
(Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42)

Vote for Emily Bitar

Meet Emily Bitar.

She is a Netcaster who has entered a contest to win an around the world trip and 50k! She has loved to travel and experience other cultures, so this is basically an opportunity for a dream come true! Here is the link to vote . She had to make a short video about her town, Marblehead, and write a blog post about her most memorable travel experience. You will find all that from the link and, to the right of the video, there is a green box and that's where you vote (by sharing it on FB, or tweeting it, etc.). You can vote once per social media site per day (a total of 5 votes per day if you had all the accounts). It ends on Easter. Lets jump on this and support her.

The day that forver changed my life.

This my testimony of becoming a Christian. Unlike some, my story can be linked to a day and time. I know exactly when God did the redeeming work in me and adopted me as a son. I understand that not everyone is like that and has that story.

By my senior year of high school, I was being recruited to many different schools around the country…..mostly on the east coast. So my dad and I took a trip from NJ to Vermont visiting different colleges. We looked at state schools, private schools, a Christian college, a catholic school, all different types of colleges. I remember getting to the one school called Eastern Nazarene College and sitting down with the Director of Admissions and he began to tell me that this school was much different than other schools that I had visited. At this college there was No Smoking, No drugs, No alcohol, No sex, No girls in our dorms, and all these other rules that I thought were crazy. You have to understand….I was a kid that had never been to church in my entire life, and all of the things that I was looking forward to do in college, this guy is telling me that I cant do them at his school.

With all of that being said this is the college that I decided to go to. The fact that I chose this school was crazy when I think back because I wasn’t given any scholarship money or financial aid and other schools were offering me better packages. I get to this school and immediately, I thinking that Christians are crazy. They sing songs to God, they go to chapel 3 times a week, they pray (and not just before meals).

My roommate was the craziest of them all because he would try to share Jesus Christ with me. He actually told e one time that his church back home was praying for me and I was on their prayer list. If you ever want to terrify a lost kid, that's one way to do it. Eventually, I became friends with Ricky Grant. Ricky was a Christian but didn’t try to convert me, preach to me or tell me how terrible of a person I was. Rick simply focused on being my friend. We had a lot in common, growing up in broken homes and loving basketball. Rick and I were the two freshman who were actually fight for starting positions on the team.

Eventually Ricky and I became best friends and found ourselves doing everything together. One day on my way to a practice, I noticed that I had an infected gland in my groin area. My gland blew up to the size of a golf ball and hard as a rock. My coach dropped Ricky and I off at the hospital and we waited in there for the Doctor to get me. Finally my name was called and Ricky said, “I’ll pray for you while you're in there”. I thought to myself, "whatever".

I go into the patient's room and the Doctor is taking all kind of tests and cant figure out why the gland was so infected. Their taking blood, checking my prostate, EKG, urine test, etc. The Doctor finally comes back in and starts asking me questions about my sexual past. At this time I’m all freaked out because I was sexually active at a young age. After I answer all of his questions, he leaves and I’m sitting there in the room all alone.

That was the very first time I ever prayed. It was the type of prayer that we all pray when something bad is going on. It's something like” God, why is this happening to me? I promise that I will never do anything wrong again. Please help me.” As I was praying though, something in my heart began to shift. For the first time in my life, I realized I had a need that I could not fill. Almost at the same exact moment, I also received an overwhelming feeling of love, comfort, peace. It was a feeling that I had never felt before and haven’t felt since. I was just sure that everything was going to be OK.

After a few minutes, the nurse comes into the room and tells me to get dressed and I can leave….they would have the final test results in a few days. So I get dressed and go out to the waiting room where Ricky is laying there fast asleep. I go over, shake him and he gets up and we leave. When we get outside, he’s asking me what the the doctor said and how it went; so I’m telling him. Out of nowhere I look at Ricky and ask him “Ricky, What’s it mean to be saved?” (Being at a Christian school you hear people talking about being saved and praying for the lost.) So I said “What does it mean to be saved?”

Never in my life have I seen a black guy turn white in the face but Ricky did. He looked at me with this confused look and said, "What did you say?” So I repeated my question. He looked at me and said. “If I told you what just happened, you wouldn’t believe me.” Now I'm really confused, so I said, "What?" Ricky said, “When I was sleeping in the waiting room, God came to me in a dream and told me that you were going to ask me that exact question and that I needed to be prepared to answer it.”

At that moment, Ricky walked me through the gospel. He told me about sin, separation from God, Jesus incarnated, the cross, the atonement, salvation, obedience, etc. It was a lot to take in and all of it was stuff I never heard before. Then he asked me a question that forever changed my life, he said, “Is that something that you feel God is calling you into?" Not knowing how this works, I asked “Do I need to go to church and do this? Do I have to go and have holy water thrown at me?" I was literally clueless.

Ricky's response was incredible...He said “Nope, all you have to do is believe. You can do this right now; Just believe and God promises to be faithful to finish the work in you.” That night September 11, 2000 I believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and entered into a lifelong relationship with my Savior. Since then God has continued to fulfill Phil 1:6 and is doing a progressive sanctifying work in me. I am grateful to Christ for pouring his grace onto me and Ricky being an ambassador of reconciliation and a mouthpiece for Jesus. To God be all glory, honor and fame.