“Black Friday.” Everything you see and hear this week seems to revolve around it. Originally the invention of enterprising retailers to achieve even greater sales numbers through seeking to “one up” everyone else by offering the deepest, greatest, and earliest morning discounts for the day after thanksgiving (traditionally the heaviest shopping day of the year anyway), this fanatical shopping craze has caught on like wildfire! Prior to the past few years wherein some car dealerships and retailers have recently diluted the process (while still seeking to attract consumers with the “Black Friday” tag of course) by offering so-called “Black Friday” deals and discounts throughout the hours, days, and even weeks leading up to it, some consumers had been known to actually line up and “camp out” in front of some stores in the past, in order to get in and get the best deals and deepest discounts the earliest. And quite frankly, some of the discounts and savings on some of those items were quite simply unimaginable!
But there is another “Black Friday” – indeed the very “Blackest Friday” of them all; the blackest, bleakest, most unbelievable Friday morning in all of human history – the one that every person on the planet should be far more aware of, far more involved with, and far more grateful for. Like the “Black Friday” we are so accustomed to, it too, began in the early, pre-dawn hours. But that is pretty much where any further similarities come to a screeching and very sudden stop.
On this bleak, black Friday pre-dawn morning, the very sinless, pure, perfect, and only begotten Son of the Living God, would be betrayed, arrested, and as the morning wore on, mocked, rejected, scourged, beaten, spat upon, and crucified. He would pay the ultimate price to purchase you and I back from the power of sin, satan, and death… (See: 1 Peter 1:17-21; Hebrews 2:14-16; and etc.). Within the context of that unimaginably horrific event, He, God in the very flesh, would utter phrases that should melt even the proudest and stoutest of lost sinners’ hearts…
“The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” (John 12:23-28)
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” (Matthew 26:36-38).
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? (Matthew 27:46).
Although Jesus had waited for this moment not for a night, or for a week or two, but since from even before the beginning of time (Eph. 1:3, 3:8-12), He did not come to pay a fraction of the original price for new items that should’ve cost far more like we do on “Black Friday,” but instead, just the opposite! He came to pay an infinitely greater price than we can, could, or will ever imagine, for used, broken down, dying and decaying, dirty and sin-stained souls destined for destruction.
They say something is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it. I was reminded of this this past summer when an NFL player signed a mega-million dollar contract and received – are you ready for this – an on the spot, twenty million dollar signing bonus! “That’s insane!” some would say… and I agree. Do you realize that many full time preachers of the gospel whose work has eternal implications would have to work somewhere between 375 and 400 years at today’s wages in order to earn the amount of money that that one player received, simply for signing his name to the dotted line? But… someone is worth whatever someone else is willing to pay for them (at least to the purchaser who is willing to put forth that kind of investment) – in that case, more millions than you or I can begin to imagine.
But God paid far, far, infinitely more for you and I than that, that fatal, final, black Friday morning of almost two millennia ago. The perfect and pure life-blood of His only begotten Son; that’s what you, yes, you… personally… were worth to Him (Isaiah 53:1-12; Romans 5:1-11).
What do you do with something you’ve stood in line a few hours or so to purchase on “Black Friday,” when you finally get it home and then find out it doesn’t work? Take it back? Throw it out? Surely you discard it in some form or fashion. You bought it for a specific purpose; and when it doesn’t do what you purchased it to do – no matter how much of a price you paid for it, and more often than not, precisely because of the price you paid for it – you wind up returning, exchanging, replacing, or discarding it.
Consider with me for just a moment, the awesome, infinite, and unimaginable price God paid to purchase you back from sin and Satan that original black Friday morning. Then, understand that you were “purchased for a purpose.” And that the purpose for which you were personally purchased by almighty God and the King of this universe, was to serve at His pleasure, speaking His praises, and spreading His promises (See: Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:11-14, 3:8; 1 Peter 2:9-10). You were saved to serve and purchased to perform (Romans 2:4-11; Revelation 14:12-13, 20:11-15).
This coming Thursday as you sit down with unsaved family and friends to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday just a few hours prior to this year’s “Black Friday” frenzy, remember: “You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and spirit which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). Fulfill the purpose you were purchased to perform! Proclaim the message you were saved to spread! Tell them all about that original, incredible, incomparable and infinitely-unforgettable black Friday so many years ago. The one where the very Son of God Himself, paid the ultimate price for a bunch of broken vessels… and be as worthy as you can possibly be, of the immeasurable price and infinite, incarnate investment which God paid for, and poured into, you; as you thus do exactly what He purchased you to. God bless!