The story is told of a minister who had two little children. His youngest daughter asked him one Sunday after church why he always stopped and said a prayer right before he preached. Impressed that his young daughter was actually paying attention to what was going on in the service, he solemnly told her that he always stopped and prayed before the sermon in order to ask God to bless the sermon and make it both inspiring and encouraging to the audience. After a moment of silence, the little girl spoke up again. She said, “Daddy, why doesn’t God ever answer that prayer?”
Every pastor, priest, minister, or other religious leader would like to think that all of his or her sermons are encouraging and inspiring. Obviously some are, some aren’t. But on Good Friday every Christian minister prayers a little harder and hopes to inspire people at special Good Friday services happening around the world. On Good Friday 2.5 billion Christians will pause and remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross. His sacrifice, which was freely given, and so terrible costly to Christ in both body and soul, still speaks powerfully to Christians some 2000 years after it happened.
But I believe that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross should encourage and inspire more than just Christians. Even though other religions may not hold Christ in quite the same light as Christians, His sacrifice for others still sets an amazing example for all.
Regardless of our religious background, or lack thereof, stories of deep personal sacrifice always seems to inspire us. Such stories of sacrifice remind us that life really isn’t all about us. Life is about the people around us and how we can help each other live peaceful, fulfilling and joyful lives. Life is also about making peace with God, even when we are tempted to pretend He does not exist.
So whether we are Christians, or Jews, or Muslims, or Buddhists, or Unbelievers, or whatever label we may choose to refer to ourselves, I hope that we will be inspired today as we remember the sacrifice that Christ made for others. I hope we will do more than just be inspired, I hope we will all look for ways in which we might sacrifice for others in order to make the world a better place for our children and our grandchildren.
Let us remember those inspiring words that Jesus said to his disciples in the Gospel of John 15:12-13 “This is My command: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”
That is the essence of Good Friday.
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett is an author and Christian leader in New England. He is a happy husband, proud father, adoring grandfather and thankful cancer survivor. You can find out more about his writings at: