Behold the man upon a cross My sin upon His shoulders Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice Call out among the scoffers It was my sin that held Him there Until it was accomplished His dying breath has brought me life I know that it is finished I will not boast in anything No gifts, no power, no wisdom But I will boast in Jesus Christ His death and resurrection Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer But this I know with all my heart His wounds have paid my ransom.” (How Deep The Father’s Love For Us)
We despised him and rejected him; he endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at him-- we ignored him as if he were nothing. “But he endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that his suffering was punishment sent by God. But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received. (Isaiah 53:3-5)
Why is Good Friday called Good Friday? If Jesus died on Good Friday, why would you ever call it good? What does the death of a guy forever ago have to do with me? These are just a few of the many questions I’ve received about this Easter Weekend. Good Friday is so good because our God is so good. Here are the couple things I know:
Sin is any lack of conformity to the moral character of God or the law of God. We sin by thinking evil, speaking evil, acting evil or omitting good.
You and I are sinners, period. We are liars, cheaters, adulterers, manipulators and thieves, just to skim the surface. Most people don’t like being told their wrong or they’re “bad”, but we are and that’s the reality.
There is a Heaven and there is a Hell.
If I or anybody commits any kind of sin, we deserve to go to Hell. There’s no scale of “good points” and “bad points” that get compared at the end of your life. Doing more “good things” doesn’t get you into heaven, and doing more “bad things” doesn’t send you to Hell. Everyone deserves death (Hell) forever because we are all sinners. I deserve Hell just like Hitler, Billy Graham, Miley Cyrus, the Pope, and the President — humbling, I know.
Here are some other things I also know:
God loves you and me, and He didn’t intentionally create humans and the world to be full of sin.
God cannot be near sin. So we are separated from God because of sin.
However, God loves us so much He made a way for us to be with and near to Him!
Thousands of years ago, God sent His only son, named Jesus to be born on Earth. Jesus lived an absolutely sinless, perfect life. No bad thoughts, no giving into temptation, no sneaking around, no sin ever.
In this perfect life, Jesus performed miracles, preached, and led many people to a relationship with God. Jesus valued and brought value women, He touched and healed the diseased, He hung out with people who were pretty terrible people, He ate dinner with outcasts and He loved every single person He ever came into contact with. He lived a PERFECT life, but some people didn’t like that.
When Jesus was 33 years old, He was tried and convicted for crimes He clearly did not commit. The penalty for these crimes was death, but not just any death — death on a cross (which was very terrible, in-fact, the most dreaded way to die). Jesus didn’t defend Himself and He didn’t try to get out of it — He just let it happen. He just let the most cruel death in history take place, He did nothing to stop it.
Jesus died on a cross and was buried. The crowd yelled. His people wept. The Earth went dark. Friday wasn’t turning out to be good…
Here’s the BEST thing I know:
God loves you and me, and everybody else that has ever and will ever live. God sent Jesus to Earth to live a life we could never live (aka a perfect life).
Jesus died on the cross because ultimately He knew that was the death we deserved, but He took our place.
On the third day, JESUS LITERALLY ROSE FROM THE GRAVE! Death and darkness and sin did not and can not hold Jesus down.
If you and I believe in God, in what Jesus did on that cross for you and me. If you and I admit we are sinner and we know we need nobody else but Jesus. If you and I commit to following Jesus, getting to know Him and His character, and if we spend our lives making Him known — Hell is no longer in our future! God is our Savior! And death has no hold on us!
Please don’t miss this. This is the good news. We don’t celebrate His death because He died, we celebrate His death because He LIVED and LIVES! This is why we celebrate. This is the "good" in Good Friday.