“By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. 46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.” – Luke 23:44-46.
Today is called Good Friday. You have to wonder why Good Friday is 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.” On the surface, there was nothing good about that day.
We have all had bad days including some that are very bad. However, I don’t think any of us have had a day like 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, 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. 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 good day, a very good day.
On the cross, Jesus became the bridge when there was no bridge. Good Friday is celebrated because deep down, we know the darkness within ourselves. We’re aware of the sins we’ve committed, and we know just how dark our actions and thoughts can be. As we think about the things that have stained our hands, we know deep down, the things we’ve done are worthy of punishment. Especially when we understand God’s holy standards. That is why we need a Savior—and Scripture identifies Him as Jesus Christ: “while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” (Titus 2:13–14).
Good Friday was a really good day for humankind. God demonstrated His love for us through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. God demonstrates His own love for us. 1 Peter 3:18 tells us, “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.”
Through Jesus’ sacrificial act, the cross is a symbol of hope and life for those who believe in Him. And that is very good.
- 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?