This day is traditionally called Good Friday. Good is a relative word. The best way to understand the Friday that Jesus died as being “good” is to look backward at it from Sunday, the day of the Resurrection.
Friday, by itself, for Jesus, was a very bad day.
Friday was the day of his trail. They condemned him to death on a Roman cross for charges they could not prove.
Friday is the day of rejection. The crowd who ushered Jesus into Jerusalem under cries of, “Hosanna To The Son Of David…Blessed Is He Who Comes In The Name Of The Lord!” at the first of the week, was the same crowd who shouted “Crucify, Crucify, Crucify!” at the end of the week.
Friday was the day Jesus’ closest friend, Peter, denied ever knowing him.
Friday is the day Jesus was flogged, beaten and humiliated prior to being crucified on Golgotha.
Friday is the day Jesus hung suspended on his cross, between two criminals, one who cursed him and one who prayed to him.
Friday is the day, when darkness came over the land from noon until three in the afternoon.
Friday is the day Jesus experienced the full wrath of our Holy God as the punishment for our sin.
Friday is the day, as the wrath of God was satisfied, Jesus’ pronounced his last words, “It Is Finished.” Then he gave up his spirit and died.
Friday is the day a mother witnessed the unjust execution of her son.
Friday is the day the hopes of a group of Jesus’ followers, people who expected Jesus to be a political or military messiah, saw their hopes crushed and buried hastily in a borrowed tomb.
Friday is the day two prominent men asked the governor for Jesus’ body and, without ceremony, placed his body in a tomb, along with ointments still in their jars because there was not enough light left in the day to attend to his funeral preparations.
Friday is the day one man suffered and died so that all people might have the opportunity for peace with God and eternal life.
Friday is the fulfillment of the prophecy of the high priest Caiaphas, the man who most desired Jesus death, as he said, “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
Today is Friday, and if we look at Friday by itself, it is full of pain and darkness. But we know Sunday is coming. From the blessed vantage point of Sunday we can look back and say that all the pain and violence and abandonment and heartache experienced on Friday were turned into something good and glorious for sinners saved by the grace of God.
But while it’s Friday, let’s pause to give reverence to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
“But 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 NIV
Come join us on Sunday morning at First Baptist Nederland as we worship at 10:15 a.m. this Easter and remember how good Good Friday is because of how Great our Savior’s Resurrection was.
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