“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” – John 1:14.
I often wondered about why Good Friday was called Good Friday. It would seem strange and counterintuitive to call a day set aside to commemorate the torturous death of the sinless Son of God “good.”
I’ve had some very good days as I look back on my life. I’ve also had some not-so-good and even some bad days. That is true for most people. However, I don’t think any of us have had a day as Jesus had on Good Friday. There is nothing good about being betrayed and abandoned by those closest to you. There is no good in enduring whippings that by the time Jesus hangs on the cross, His flesh is so ripped and mangled, you could see bone.
Few would have survived the original beatings. Fewer still could have made the walk from the place of original torture to the cross. It’s difficult to visualize Christ, the Son of God, the Lord and Savior of the world, bleeding profusely and being mocked by the crowd as He walked toward Calvary on Good Friday. Once there, nails were driven into His wrists and top of His feet. The pain must have been excruciating.
As the Son of God, He didn’t have to endure anything; He was a prisoner of the Roman soldiers because He allowed Himself to be. He let Himself be crucified. Even in those last painful hours nailed to the cross, He could have opted out and dished out some epic revenge. But Jesus understood His suffering was not about Him; it was the only way to restore sinners like you and me to our loving heavenly Father.
The Author of Life, the very Son of God — was killed by the world He came to save. And as the world’s sin was placed on Jesus, never before was there (and never again will there be) a day marked by more sadness and suffering. Even so, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save His people from their sins. Just like John the Baptist said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Romans 5:8 (TPT) says: “But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!” Then in 1 Peter 3:18 (TPT), it is reiterated again: “Christ suffered and died for sins once and for all—the innocent for the guilty—to bring you near to God by his body being put to death and by being raised to life by the Spirit.” The Good Friday message is one of hope and life for those who believe in Him.
- How does the cross of Christ reveal the power of God? How does the cross of Christ reveal the wisdom of God?
- What impact has the story of Jesus’ crucifixion had on your life? What impact would you like it to have?
- How might we maintain a cross-centered focus in our lives this week?