“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.” On the surface, there was nothing good about that day.
I’ve had some very good days as I look back over my life. I’ve also had some not-so-good and some very bad days. Certainly if asked, most people can recall bad days. 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 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. Such excruciating pain is unfathomable. 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.
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. We see Good Friday turn into good days when people accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
The results of Jesus’ death are very good. This is explained in Romans 5:8: “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Then in 1 Peter 3:18, it is reiterated again: “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, it’s message became one 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?