Shadrach Meshach Lockridge (March 7, 1913 – April 4, 2000) was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, a prominent African-American congregation in San Diego, California, from 1953 to 1993. He was known for his preaching across the United States and around the world.
In his classic message, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Coming!,” Lockeridge expressed the pain and seeming defeat of the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, while hinting at the victory to come. Christians celebrate the cross because the story does not end on that fateful Friday. It does not end at the cross. The irony of the cross was that the very instrument Jesus’ enemies used to defeat Him, became His greatest victory. Little did they know when Friday ended that what would happen on Sunday would change the course of the world’s history.
Here is a portion of that famous sermon by Lockridge. As you read it (or hear an audio recording of it as Lockeridge himself preached it at the link below), just remember that regardless of what today brings, regardless of today’s problems, challenges, or defeats; Sunday’s coming!
It’s Friday. Jesus is praying. Peter’s a sleeping. Judas is betraying. But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. Pilate’s struggling. The council is conspiring. The crowd is vilifying. They don’t even know, that Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd. Mary’s crying. Peter is denying. But they don’t know, that Sunday’s a comin’.
It’s Friday. The Romans beat my Jesus. They robe him in scarlet. They crown him with thorns. But they don’t know, that Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. See Jesus walking to Calvary. His blood dripping. His body stumbling. And his spirit’s burdened. But you see, it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The world’s winning. People are sinning. And evil is grinning.
It’s Friday. The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands to the cross. They nail my Savior’s feet to the cross. And then they raise him up next to criminals. It’s Friday. But let me tell you something. Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The disciples are questioning. What has happened to their King. And the Pharisees are celebrating that their scheming has been achieved. But they don’t know, it’s only Friday. Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. He’s hanging on the cross. Feeling forsaken by his Father. Left alone and dying. Can nobody save him? Ooooh, it’s Friday. But Sunday’s comin’.
It’s Friday. The earth trembles. The sky grows dark. My King yields his spirit.
It’s Friday. Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered. And Satan’s just a laughin’.
It’s Friday. Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard. And a rock is rolled into place. But it’s Friday. It is only Friday.
Sunday is a comin’!
Luke 23:44-46 — 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.
Luke 24:1-6a — On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had preparedand went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”
John 20:19-20 — On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
EASTER PRAYER, 1766, by Samuel Johnson (1709-1784):
Almighty and most merciful Father, before whom I now appear laden with the sins of another year, suffer me yet again to call upon Thee for pardon and peace. O God! grant me repentance, grant me reformation. Grant that I may be no longer distracted with doubts, and harassed with vain terrors. Grant that I may no longer linger in perplexity, nor waste in idleness that life which Thou hast given and preserved. Grant that I may serve thee in firm faith and diligent endeavor, and that I may discharge the duties of my calling with tranquility and constancy. Take not, O God, Thy Holy Spirit from me; but grant that I may so direct my life by thy holy laws, as that, when Thou shalt call me hence, I may pass by a holy and happy death to a life of everlasting and unchangeable joy. Amen.