What is so good about this day? This day we call Good Friday is when we remember the greatest injustice in all the history of the world. A completely innocent man (who also happened to be the Son of God) was interrogated, mocked, spat upon, lied about, beaten, humiliated, and then tortured to death for apparently no good reason.
If we didn’t know better we would think this was a weak man who couldn’t defend himself. This innocent man, Jesus, was there when our universe was formed. He has no beginning and no end. Jesus said, No man taketh it (life) from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10:18). And that is exactly what He did.
So this most horrible day for Jesus became the best day for the rest of us. Jesus took the wrath of God for the sin of the whole world on Himself that day. He bought us with His holy blood. He paid the sin debt and redeemed a selfish, sinful world of people so we could be united with Him for eternity. This love is SO hard for me to wrap my mind around.
Jesus left the splendor of heaven and presence of God to come to earth to bridge the gap between our sinful brokenness and separation from God. He has done all the work. He has done every possible thing. All He asks is for us to repent of our sin, believe in Him and His work on the cross, and ask Him to take residence in our hearts. I can attest to the peace and joy that follows that act of faith!
As I think of Jesus’ suffering, I’m amazed at how He endured all that suffering and separation from God and didn’t yell, Enough! I don’t deserve this! I’m done! He could have easily called for the angels to release Him or walked away on His own. I know His love kept Him on the cross, but there was also another motivation.
This example is not anywhere close to what Jesus went through, but the most pain I’ve been in is when I gave birth to my children. I chose not to have pain medicine and there was a few times I caved and said, Okay! Give me something! But the baby was ready to be born and there wasn’t time. Anyway, as I lay there writhing in pain, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about how much I loved my husband or the baby, although I did love them both very much. I looked into the near future and thought about the joy of holding that precious new life. That thought helped me plow through the pain.
Jesus looked into the future and saw joy! Hebrews 12:2 says, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. He was thinking about the joy!
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:10) He has made a way for us to have abundant, joy- filled lives, full of faith and hope not only because of what He did on that cross on Good Friday, but because of the resurrection afterwards. He has taken the sting out of death and the grave for us as believers.
“Whenever you feel tempted to ask God, ‘Why did you do this to me?’ look at the cross and ask, Why did you do that for me?” (Randy Alcorn in 90 Days to God’s Goodness)
So if you are going through a tough time now, look into God’s Word and claim His promises of peace, rest, and joy as you trust in Him. He will never fail you or forsake you.
Yes, it was a horrible Friday around two thousand years ago today, but it was also a glorious day for the millions of believers in the ages to come. What a precious gift Jesus gave the world that day! It is a very Good Friday because Sunday’s coming!!! Happy Resurrection Day!
Keep looking up,