Today is Friday the 13th. I almost didn’t notice, but my phone sent me a notification reminding me of the fact. Not everyone is so unaware, however. To some, it is a joke, but to others who hold to superstitious ideas, Friday the 13th is a day of misfortune and fear. This is widespread enough that it even has a name— triskaidekaphobia.
For those who fear, I would like to offer an alternative view. If you are a Christian, I would like to remind you to put away superstitious notions and embrace the day for what it really is (along with all other days).
- A day with an opportunity for salvation and for obedience.
- A day made by God, and an opportunity to rejoice.
- A day for confidence, even in the face of evil.
A day with an opportunity for salvation and for obedience:
Today is an opportunity for salvation. If you are not a follower of Christ, please know that today he is calling to you to be reconciled with God. Jesus died on the cross in your place so that you could be reconciled to God, seeing that he paid the debt for sins that you never could. Yet, his offering does not take effect for you unless you place your trust in and follow him. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and said this concerning “today” —
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 5:20–6:2 ESV emphasis mine)
Today is a day for obedience. We must first accept Christ in faith, but following him is not optional. This can be seen in many places, even in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:20 where Jesus commands us not to make converts only, but disciples, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:20 ESV) Obedience comes as a result of following God’s prompting. He speaks to us through his Spirit, his word, and other Christians. The author of Hebrews urges us to use today as an opportunity to approach God in faith and to obey God’s prompting—
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:12–15 ESV emphasis mine)
We need not fear some vague notion of bad luck or misfortune of undetermined origin, but we should fear the hardness of heart that comes with disobedience to God.
A day made by God, and an opportunity to rejoice:
Today, if you are in Christ, then you in a day of rejoicing. He is our savior, and he works all things to for our good in order to conform us to his image. Even if there is misfortune on a day (regardless of the date) we know that he will ultimately keep us safe, even in death. He wants good for us and that is a great reason to rejoice. In speaking about how God had come to his rescue in times of trouble the author of Psalm 118 calls us to worship with him with this mindset, saying—
“I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:21–24 ESV emphasis mine)
A day for confidence, even in the face of evil:
Today is a day of rejoicing, and it is a day of confidence. I do not pretend that suffering and acts of evil are not present in the world. We know better than that, and where we see suffering we should comfort, and were we see evil we should stand in its way protecting those affected by it.
Yet, we know that God has promised a day when evil and pain and suffering and sickness will be no more (Rev 21:1–4). That day has not yet come, but today as we wait for his glorious and final victory we can have confidence because he is greater than any evil. Let us not put our hope is silly superstitious rituals. Let us not give away the hope and strength we have to empty fears and lies. Instead let us read, believe, and confess that Jesus is in us and is greater than all these things.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:1–4 ESV emphasis mine)