A Word About Good Friday
There is no doubt that the crucifixion of Jesus was a shocking end to his earthly ministry. It came just five days after his enthusiastic celebration into Jerusalem. Although the earthly reasons for Jesus’ death by the Romans were blasphemy and his claim to be king, the divine reasons for his death were to account for the sins of us, all of us! “He was wounded for our transgressions” states the prophet Isaiah, “crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed (53:5). Throughout the church’s history, we have understood that Jesus died primarily to bring us forgiveness. “He bore the sins of many.” (vs12)
Theologian N.T. Wright says, “When you look at the crucifixion in all the gospels, it’s all about Jesus being enthroned as ‘king’.” The crucifixion is the glorious means by which God’s kingdom is actually ignited on earth as in heaven! It celebrates that the powers of evil are defeated and God’s new world is birthed. The brutal death of Jesus leads directly to the birth of the church, and nothing after his death is ever the same!
That is why we call it “Good” Friday, because his death liberated us, you and I, from sin and eternal, separational death. Jesus’ death allows us to now live freely in the world as his followers. In essence, we have new life because of his crucifixion. That is very good indeed and should always be celebrated.
Our prayer: Dear God, we offer you both thanks and praise for the sheer courage of Jesus to fulfill his mission to save all of us from our sins and draw us eternally closer to You. Be present this day in our lives and give us the courage to live like Jesus. Amen