It was Friday. My nerves were up because my time was down. There was so much to be done and so many people to get to know. It was Friday and our belongings were in storage and our house in Wisconsin still not sold. Becca and our then one and only child (1½ year-old Bella) were sitting at her parents’ house in Waconia wondering what life in Mayer was going to be like.
It was Friday. I was thinking, “What were these Zion people going to be like?” My mind was racing. I still had a sermon to finish! It was Friday and I knew Sunday’s coming.
That was 13 years ago. This past week it was again Friday when I again sat in my office thinking about you the beloved people of Zion. I considered the many years, the many joys and even the sorrows that we’ve shared together during my time—all the baptisms, the weddings, the confirmations, the potlucks, the graduations, along with the funerals, heartaches and sorrows.
It was Friday and I knew my last Sunday was coming. I read again these words of Jesus: “40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” After reading these words I then prayed, as I have often done, that on Sunday (today) you would once again hear and believe the Good News of the Gospel; that by the shed blood of Jesus Christ you are forgiven and made a dear and precious child of God who will be raised up on the Last Day.
Yes, it was Friday and the Words of Jesus were prompting a flood of memories. Again from the Gospel: “51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” These words reminded me of the many Sundays we’ve shared the Lord’s Supper together. Sunday after Sunday, year after year, I put into your hands the Bread of Life, the very body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was Friday and I considered the many hands I have looked upon while administering the Lord’s Supper. It will be hard not to see those hands; the tender hands soft with gentleness and care, the strong hands thick with years of hard labor, the little hands and the big hands. Yes, I know your hands; the stained hands, the broken hands, even the angry hands, along with the frail hands, gnarled hands, ailing hands and even the trembling hands. I will miss those hands.
It was Friday and the hands of Jesus were being stretched out. It was Friday and the mockers and the scoffers were out in full force. It was Friday. The soldiers spit in His face and they struck him on the head over and over again (Matthew 27:30).
It was Friday and the whip brutally scourged his body (Matthew 27:26) and darkness covered the land (Matthew 27:45). It was Friday and Jesus was dead on the cross. But that was Friday, and Sunday’s coming!
It was Friday. The cynics who had been watching the trial unfold were looking at the world and saying, “As things have always been so shall they be. You can’t change anything in this world. You can’t change anything.” But those cynics didn’t know that it was only Friday and Sunday’s coming!
It was Friday. And on Friday, the forces that oppressed the poor and marginalized the meek were in control. But that was Friday and Sunday’s coming!
It was Friday. Women were weeping and the disciples were running in every direction, like sheep without a shepherd. It was Friday and the tomb was sealed. But that was Friday and Sunday’s coming!
Scripture declares what happened on Sunday: “1But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus” (Luke 24).
The whole message of the Bible had been built up to this day (Sunday). Because the world was filled with sin, that meant there had to be a Friday. But God’s unending message has always been Sunday’s coming!
When Adam and Eve gave into Satan’s temptation and brought the ugly and agonizing reality of sin into the world, God immediately declared Friday would be necessary. But not to worry, because He also said Sunday’s coming. In Genesis 3:15 he says to Satan, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and hers. He will crush your head and you will strike his heal.”
So it was on Friday, that with each swing of the mallet and with each pain filled breath, Jesus certainly felt more than just a striking at His heal. When that Friday ended it looked as though the Devil had won and that the Son of God was defeated, sealed in a borrowed tomb. But that was Friday and Sunday’s coming!
Time and again the Old Testament speaks about this day. Prophecy after prophecy tells of this day coming. In 2 Samuel 7:12-14 God says to King David, “I will raise up one from your offspring and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father and he will be my son.”
But on Friday the Son of God was yelling, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). But that was Friday and Sunday’s coming!
On Friday Mary was crying her eyes out. Hopes were crushed. Friends were disowned. People were disgraced, buried by hurt and confusion. But that was Friday and Sunday’s coming!
Isaiah 25 tells about this Sunday: “7[God] will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples; 8he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces.” Time and again the message of the Old Testament it SUNDAY’S COMING!
On Friday, Herod thought he’d had his laughs and Pilate thought he had washed his hands of some trouble. On Friday the Pharisees were strutting around, laughing, and slapping each other on the back. They all thought they were in charge, but they didn’t know that it was only Friday and Sunday’s coming!
Sunday has come! Today Jesus comes directly to you as the Bread of Life, putting into your hands and into your mouths the very bread that comes down from heaven in the Lord’s Supper. Through all the filth and sin of our lives this is a meal that makes us and say, “Thank God Sunday’s coming!”
Many of you have have heard me use this phrase before. I simply borrowed it from Christian speaker Tony Campolo, who borrowed it from someone else. Sunday’s coming is a phrase that reminds us we are a Sunday people; that Sunday is not only coming, but is here!
Today is Sunday after all. Why do you think we worship on Sundays? It’s a reminder of the greatest event that has ever happened in the history of the world. Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Sunday. So Sunday declares the devil is defeated, death has been destroyed, and you have the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting welling up within you.
Sunday reminds us that Jesus Christ is Lord. Sunday reminds us that Jesus died, rose, ascended, and is coming again to take away your pain and tears, and fill you with everlasting joy.
However, life does not always feel so joyful. Sometimes life feels more like it’s a Friday than a Sunday. Your pastor is leaving. You’ve got unpaid bills. Or your health is bad and you’re in a world of hurt. Life is broken. You’re full of sorrow. Your sins are many. You’ve got questions about God. Maybe you’re just overwhelmed by life.
In fact, maybe like Jesus it’s Friday and you are crying out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Perhaps you feel lost in the depths of Friday’s darkness.
On Friday Jesus was over whelmed by the work that was before him. He was beat down by the debt of sin He was paying. His flesh was ripping, His blood was dripping, and His strength was slipping. He was burdened to the point of death. But that was FRIDAY and SUNDAY’S COMING.
Friday’s darkness was overcome by Sunday’s light. Friday’s despair was overpowered by Sunday’s resurrection. He who said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” not only said it, but he proved it! He who said, I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever, brings you this very bread today!
When life seems like you can’t take it any more—when it doesn’t make sense, when the hurt is too much, when the days seem pointless, and your life feels worthless—remember that SUNDAY’S COMING! On this day you are fed the bread of life so that every day you can live your life in the strength of Christ.
Sunday reminds you that Jesus died and rose specifically because He loves you! He loves you with an unconditional and irreversible love. He brings forgiveness for your faults, healing to your hurts, wholeness to your broken lives, and meaning to your existence.
Sunday declares the tomb is empty and death is defeated. In fact, if you’ve ever lost a loved one and lived in the darkness and pain of Friday, or maybe your own mortality sees the darkness of Friday creeping in, let me remind you that Sunday’s coming!
The Living Bread from heaven comes to you this very day and feeds you with His life even as you life in the midst of this broken and dying world. When life deals you the worst it can give, we believe the power of Christ that exploded on this world on a Sunday some 2,000 years ago is still here today. We know that Sunday’s coming!
This is Gospel truth. This is what Sunday is all about. God so loved the world that He sent His Son to die for you and that meant Friday had to happen. But guess what, Sunday’s coming! And today Sunday is here! That’s the Good News.
No matter the pastor that serves you, (and you are being left in good and capable hands), they are called to do so in the name and stead of Jesus Christ. They are called to do so in the confidence that Sunday’s coming.
Beloved members of Zion, I thank God for each of you, for your faith, and for the great privilege to serve and love you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. You may see me from time to time throughout the district, or even back here at Zion once and awhile, but as I say goodbye for now, I do so knowing that Sunday’s coming! I leave knowing that today you are given the Bread of Life and that next Sunday, you will have it again.
Sunday’s coming! It’s the Good News that this world so desperately needs to hear. People are longing for some hope. They are looking for some light. Jesus Christ gives it!
When you are overwhelmed, you can know Sunday’s coming. When someone feels they can never know love again, tell them Sunday’s coming. When they’ve lost their belief in the goodness of God, tell them that Sunday’s coming. When you hunger and thirst for righteousness, Sunday’s coming! When you are burdened by sin, Sunday’s coming! When you are staring at the grave of a loved one, the empty tomb of Jesus says, Sunday’s coming!
We are not ashamed of Gospel of Jesus Christ, because to all of those who are on the brink of despair, you and I can stand and yell at the top of our lungs, “IT’S FRIDAY, BUT SUNDAY’S COMING!” In the name of Jesus, Amen.