Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified and beaten and tortured for the sake of…you and me, the whole world. This is Good Friday. So why would we call it ‘good’?
This day is crucial. We have nothing to celebrate on Sunday without remembering Good Friday. We have nothing to celebrate in this life at all without Good Friday taking place. We sinned, we still sin, and we needed a perfect Savior to take the blame for us. A spotless Lamb to be the final sacrifice for our sins. This Lamb, this Savior, is Jesus.
Adam and Eve, the first humans created by God, sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Sin entered into what was meant to be a beautiful forever. Eden and now the whole world and all who were born into it, would be cursed with sin and death and suffering. The world was now broken.
1 Corinthians 15:21 ” So you see, just as death came into the world through a man (Adam), now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man (Jesus). Just as everyone dies, because we all belong to Adam, everyone who lives to Christ will be given new life.”
Our sin brings us death. Death without a hope. The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus so that we could live. God hates sin because it keeps us from living with Him forever. I hope you know He so badly wants to live with you forever. Even if we are good-moraled people, we still have sin and it still needs dealt with.
So, Jesus died for every sin. Isaiah 53:3 & 5 “He (Jesus) was despised and rejected–a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked away. He was despised and we did not care. 5 But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6All of us like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s path to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all. 7He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8Unjustly condemned, he was led away. 9He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal;”
We remember Good Friday, with heavy hearts because it is our sin, my sin, that led Jesus, a completely innocent man, to a criminal’s cross. Everything He did for us on this day 2000 years ago, a silent Savior, was for you and me.
Jesus took the beatings so we could be whole, being pierced to a cross so we could be forgiven. He gained nothing for Himself in all of this, but He wasn’t thinking of Himself. He was thinking of you and me and the rest of the world. It was His love for all humans, that held Him up on that cross.
Imagine this: Do you see Him, being accused of sins He had not committed? Can you see Him walking with a heavy cross on His back, a now bloody crown of thorns meant to mock him, on his head, going up a hill, a hill he would be crucified on?! Can you hear yourself yelling ‘crucify Him! crucify Him!’ because His message made you uncomfortable? His message made a lot of people uncomfortable and still does. He told people there was only one way to heaven and it had nothing to do with any of them, or you or me. He told them to stop following their own ways of sin and selfishness that lead to death but to follow His ways. It’s not a popular message and it still isn’t today, but it’s the only way for life.
Good Friday is good because His death meant we didn’t have to die. Sunday was coming which would solidify His work on the Cross when He would rise to life again. Jesus said in John 15:13, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
But Friday and Saturday, days of great sadness, when after the Son of God had literally come down from the highest riches in heaven, to the lowliest and poor and He lived a perfect life, loved the unloveable, broke social barriers in the name of love, performed miracles, proved to truly be God’s One and only Son, was killed. They wondered ‘what now?!’ ‘I thought He came to save us, but God let them kill him?!’ Can you even imagine not yet knowing Sunday is coming?! Can you picture the sadness on His followers’ faces? They hung in a thick cloud of grief and sadness, hopelessness and fear.
Sunday is coming, yes, but we still need to allow ourselves to sit in the hard truth that our sin is what brought on such an undeserving death for Jesus. We need to sit and repent of sins we committed and still commit. We need to remember the pain and torture Jesus went through on our behalf. We need to remember that kind of Love.
Lord, thank you for this undeserving gift. Thank you for dying for me and all my sins. I owe my life to you, my Savior, my God, my Friend.