Friday, April 14, 2017

What's So Good About Good Friday?

Today, Christians everywhere are celebrating Good Friday. The story behind this day is familiar to most everyone. It is the story of a king who lived a spotless and pure life. He performed miracles, granted healing to people who had been sick for years, fed the poor and loved everyone he met. Despite all of this, his people turned against him and sentenced him to death. This is the day we call Good Friday, but you may be wondering what exactly is so good about it. 

Let's look at this story through the eyes of the king today. Look beyond the blood, beyond His wounds, beyond the cross and beyond the tomb and we will see that Good Friday is a day to celebrate because the death of Jesus was good indeed. 

Good Friday

We see blood, He sees salvation!

For my Jesus loving heart, it is painful to recount what Jesus went through on the day of His death. He was betrayed by His beloved followers. He was mocked. He was tortured and beaten until He was nearly unrecognizable then He endured an agonizing death on a cross. The Son of God, the only man to ever live a sinless life, wrongfully suffered the brutal punishment of a criminal. 

Right about now you're wondering where the "good" comes in, right? Hebrews 9:22 tells us that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." As Jesus hung there on the cross every evil deed, every selfish thought and every act of rebellion was erased. 

So the good is that the spilling of His blood was the cleansing of our sins. 

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace." Ephesians 1:7

We see pierced hands, He sees Healing

As Jesus was nailed to the cross, the sin of the entire world was driven into His hands and there it remains today. Human strength could never bear the burden of sin so it was placed into the hands of the one who has the strength to hold the world.  

When the weight of our sin and shame is too much to bear, His nail scarred hands serve as a reminder that through Christ, we are healed.

"He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was on Him and by His wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

We see a cross, He sees victory!

With a voice, tired and weakened, Jesus declared "it is finished" as He took His final breath on the cross. 

While our thoughts of the cross may echo death and defeat, Hebrews 12:2 tells us "for the joy that was set before him, Jesus endured the cross." Jesus understood that the glory waiting for Him and for us on the other side of the cross was worth dying for.

The cross is not a symbol of death and defeat. The cross represents victory!

"Death is swallowed up in victory! Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:55

We see a tomb, He sees eternity!

Jesus told His disciples that although He would die, after three days He would rise again, but as the stone was rolled over the door of His tomb, I can imagine they began to doubt His promise. Their beloved mentor and friend had died and was now dwelling in a tightly sealed and guarded tomb. 

To us, death is final. It's the end. All hope is lost. But, Jesus' death was different. There was no tomb sealed tight enough and no guard strong enough to contain him and out of Jesus' death, eternity was born! Because He conquered the grave, we can have confidence that we too will experience the eternal life He has promised us.

"For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

So today, we celebrate. Celebrate His blood that bought our salvation! Celebrate His wounds that healed our own! Celebrate the victory of the cross! Celebrate His death that lead to eternal life! We celebrate because today is a good, good Friday!

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