Here in the United States we have a tradition. On the forth Thursday in November, we set aside a day of Thanksgiving. Nationally, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed this day as a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise” on October 3, 1863.
Sometime late in the twentieth century as families gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving they realized that Christmas was just about a month away. With most gifts now more often being purchased instead of homemade, this seemed to be a really good time to start Christmas shopping. As many businesses gave their employees the Friday following the holiday off to enjoy an extended weekend, this was a natural time to get that gift shopping started.
Retail stores, having ran their businesses in the “red” all year seemingly seemed to be able to finally make it into a profit or “black” condition due to what used to be known as “the busiest shopping day of the year.” Hence the birth of “Black Friday.”
Retailers have now turned this “frenzy” into a day of mass pandemonium as shoppers fight each other over inferior half price products the retailer couldn’t seem to get rid of at full price the past eleven months of the year. People have been trampled and have even died in the race to acquire such treasures. It’s madness.
But long before this “Black Friday” came to be there was another “Black Friday.”
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. — Luke 23:44-48
The sun stopped shining. Darkness came over the whole land. It was Friday. I would say that this was indeed a “Black Friday.”
What was happening here? They were killing a man — an innocent man — for a crimes He did not commit. In fact, he never committed any crime or infraction. He was more than a man, however — He was also God, Himself. It was only God Himself who was perfect and righteous enough to pay the price for crimes He did not commit.
That crime was committed years before in a garden paradise. An innocent man and woman were convinced to turn against God. Because of that “crime” against God, The man and woman became imperfect. God could no longer have a close relationship with imperfection. The penalty for that crime was death. Spiritual death — a separation from God.
Despite the separation, God still loved the man, woman and all of their offspring who were all under the curse of that crime. How could man again be released from the separation from God?
God had a plan.
If someone who was not under that curse were to come and pay for that crime, all crimes would be pardoned and paid in full…
So He became a man — a decedent of a fallen man — But yet maintained His deity and innocence… Fully man and fully God.
And so on that original “Black Friday” God went shopping. He waited for that day, that time, that hour to make His purchase. He paid full price with His innocent blood, and He died in place of the people He loved so much. The people He created in His image. He offered up His sacrifice as a gift. You might even call it a “Christmas Gift” — because ironically we celebrate His birth in the tradition of giving gifts.
Gifts sometimes purchased on “Black Friday.”
For us the recipients – I’d call that a bargain… The best I ever had.