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-It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming…

by Dr. D ~ April 10th, 2009

My Favorite message of all time for Good Friday is by Dr. Tony Campolo. Here is a link to where the famous tape can be downloaded.


The whole tape is great but the best part is at the end when Tony Campolo recalls one Sunday when he had a little preaching competition with the head pastor at the church where he attends.

Dr. Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon in every way and had taken the congregation to ‘the heights of glory’. As he sat down beside his pastor, Dr. Tony patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master.” Then Dr. Campolo recalls for us the very brilliant message which followed.

The following is a short printed version of the 45 minute sermon–the printed version doesn’t really do justice to the original, but you can at least get an idea what the last part is like:

It’s Friday. But Sunday’s coming—

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this.

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it’s Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn’t the only thing that was shaking because now it’s Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb. Yes, it’s Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it’s Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It’s Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave. It’s Sunday. And now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it’s Sunday.

At the end of the message the pastor shouts out:

It’s Friiidaaaay!

And the whole congregation responds:

But Sunday’s Coming!


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21 Responses to -It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming…

  1. cynthia mullaney

    I actually heard this sermon years ago and my pastor continiues to refer to a black pastor that preached it. I told him Tony would find it amusing to find out he is a black pastor. I wonder if someone else, a black pastor preached it before Tony. Can you verify? Thanks.

  2. Dr. D

    Yes Cynthia, if you go to Tony’s website and listen to the sermon he verifies that his pastor at the time (who happened to be black) preached it one day.

    I have also heard Dr. Tony Campolo in a radio interview years ago talk about the background behind the now famous tape.

  3. Eirene

    i heard Tony preach it’s Friday at Spring Harvest in Wales UK bak in 1982/83. it was so real, so moving and every Easter i am reminded of that great message.

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  8. Pastor Adam Barton

    Thanks for passing that sermon along. Very insightful.
    Pastor Adam Barton,
    Akron, Ohio

  9. Mike

    I saw Tony preach this at our college back in late 80’s.
    Everyone should hear this message live. It truly is the
    Winning sermon, look how many have heard it today.
    Listen whenever you need to not just on
    Easter. God bless you Tony for sharing .

  10. Bob Hill

    Greatest GOOD FRIDAY message ever preached! Thank you Dr. Campolo for you ministry! You are a blessed man. You came to the Rescue Mission in Milwaukee years ago and I was blessed to hear your message of salvation.

    God bless you this Easter!

  11. Stephen Watson

    My wife and I seem to recall that we heard this message preached. We thought that we heard the elderly black pastor himself. Do you know his name? This message was certainly delivered in the most memorable manner that I can ever recall! Thank you.

  12. Jerome Loring

    I first heard it from the late Dr. E. V. Hill, one of the greatest African American preachers I’ve ever heard!!

  13. Brenda W. Roles

    We thank you God, Jesus and Holy Spirit for what you did for all of us over 2000 years ago on Friday and we thank You that there was a SUNDAY Morning. That alone is our salvation. Thank you for loving us so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Tom Clocker

    African-American preacher S.M. Lockridge (1913-2000) is generally credited as the original preacher of this well-traveled sermon. Great message!

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  16. curtis

    this is the first time that i have hard it and i love it

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  19. Mike Servais

    S.M. Lockridge is the black pastor that originally gave this message. It’s sad Tony Campolo seems to have ignored recognizing Lockridge as the author.

  20. Farrar

    great message…best heard in years

  21. Twilight Dawn Miller

    I know it was S.M. Lockridge and I believe he was credited with it when this was aired on Focus of the Family many many years ago. Forgive me if I am mistaken in the venue. It WAS many many years ago. Still a great ministry and worth our support.

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