“Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life.” – Ecclesiastes 7:14.
It is a familiar axiom: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. But can you flip that to suggest that something that is bad, really bad be in any way good? Scripture says the answer is yes. At the center of our Christian faith is a radical paradox—the most horrible thing that ever happened was the most wonderful thing that ever happened; the cross of Jesus Christ.
If you were Jesus’ followers or family, the crucifixion makes no sense. The world is out of control. The bad guys have the final word. Darkness is winning the day. 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, his wounds revealed 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. It is even harder to think that Jesus allowed nails to be driven into His wrists and on top of His feet. On the surface, it is hard to see or to spin Good Friday as a good day. But the fact of the matter is, it was a very good day.
The cross is where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness. The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to the nations. Jesus was faithful to the events on this Friday, and He knew the good was getting done through Him. The results of Jesus’ death are very good because He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. Because of the cross, all those that believe in Him have hope and life. And that is very good.
John Piper said, “Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.”
Sometimes it is not easy to make sense of our life. But what looks like a disaster may, in fact, be grace. What looks like the end may be the beginning. What looks hopeless may be God’s instrument to give you real and lasting hope. God is committed to taking what seems so bad and turning it into something that is very, very good.
The same God who planned Good Friday rules over every moment in your life and can take what seems so bad and turn it into something that is very, very good.
- Do you believe that good can come out of bad? If so how do we practically apply that to our lives?