I never quite understood the meaning of the words, “Good Friday.” What’s good about it? Today we’ll hear sermons and watch movies depicting the horrendous torture and death of Jesus of Nazareth. We will experience the pain of the lash, the crown of thorns, the humiliation and crucifixion of an innocent man. Our minds will be filled with thougths of death by execution, blood spilled, betrayal, denial and followers running away and hiding. The whole story is filled with disturbing and dark images. Why Good Friday?
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1
God was there at the beginning of time. He loved the world He created and continued to do so throughout history. Even though the first sin occurred in the Garden of Eden, God also gave Adam and Eve the promise that He would provide a Savior to take away the indelible mark of disobedience. This Savior would be flesh and blood like every other man, but He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and thus was without sin. He was both God and man. As we read in the Bible, the history of the Israelites was filled with laws and expectations of obedience to God. Time and time again those laws were broken, and the people drifted away from God. Still God remained faithful to his chosen people and eventually sent the promised Savior, Jesus – His one and only Son.
It was all part of the divine plan of salvation that Jesus come to take the sin of the world upon His own shoulders. He would carry that load to the cross for our sake. He didn’t have to do it this way. He was God, after all. He chose to show His unconditional love, by humbling Himself and allowing His holy self to be humiliated, scorned, beaten and killed for our benefit.
For years, the people offered sacrifices to God as a means of atoning for their sins, but none of those oblations would suffice until the worthy lamb of God, Jesus was offered up on the cross. That’s the reason Good Friday is so good. Instead of focusing on the cruelty of that day – or the bloodshed – or the mocking of an innocent – let’s think about the love God poured out, by paying the price Himself. What a magnificent, loving, sacrificial, unconditional perfect God we have. He gave the ultimate sacrifice by laying down His life for us. He rose again on the third day, so that we could be assured of the same resurrection after our own death.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16