“”The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood–
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.” – T.S. Eliot
What’s good about Good Friday? This is the day during Holy Week that Christians celebrate the Passion of Jesus Christ. Passion does not just
describe Jesus’ intense emotional feelings for us. It reveals His willingness to suffer, to be betrayed and to be killed – martyred for your sins and mine. Scholars debate that Jesus may have been crucified on Wednesday, with 3 days and nights time before a Sunday resurrection. Others believe He was crucified on Friday, the day before the Sabbath. Nevertheless, across the world a commemoration is held on the day known as Good Friday. ‘Good’ meaning holy and set apart.
This year, Good Friday and Passover are on the same day. Jewish people celebrate the deliverance of Israel from enslavement to Egypt. God decreed through Moses that Pharaoh must let His people go so they might worship Him. After 9 awful plagues on the Egyptian citizens, God capitulated His wrath by killing the first born son of every family including Pharaoh’s. The sons of Jewish families were saved by sacrificing an innocent lamb and placing it’s blood on the doorpost of their homes so that the angel of death would ‘pass over’ and preserve their son’s lives. What’s good now? Jesus, our spotless Lamb of God, was slain before the foundation of the world so that we could enjoy eternal life and be restored to relationship with a loving Father God. We are saved by His blood. (1 Peter 1:19-20)
What’s Good? Jesus’ intense love for us. It’s hard to comprehend that someone would have this kind of love, compassion, mercy and the courage to substitute their life as a ransom for their enemies. Paul said that one might die for a good man, or
for a righteous man, but God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! At the time we were without strength, Jesus CHOSE to die.(Rom. 5:6-8)
What’s Good? The 39 lashes Jesus bore were for our healing. In fact, ALL that Christ endured on the journey and the Cross was for OUR benefit. (Isaiah 53) It was the punishment that WE deserved. It was the penalty for OUR sins, iniquities, transgressions and failures. He was beaten and whipped so that we could be made whole. He was chastised so that we could enjoy peace. Another Good thing is that Jesus knew all that would befall Him, for whom He
would suffer, how it would go down, how brutal it would be, and why He had to do it…and He did it anyway…so we could have peace with God.
What’s Good? Jesus not only endured the cross, (Hebrews 12:2) He embraced the dying process for the joy of our salvation set before Him. Though He agonized about the decision at Gethsemane, once His will was set to the Father’s will, we saw Him obey to the lengths of taking up His cross for God’s will to be done through His life. Jesus understood who He was – God in the flesh, the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form. (Col 2:9) He had the power to ask God to call down legions of angels to save Him. (Matt 26:53) Though it looked like He was helpless and this was being done to him by men, His perspective on His crucifixion was just the opposite. “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” (John 10:18) Jesus is our example of a love that knows no bounds, an unconditional, sacrificial love that would spend it all for the ones He loves…If that’s not Good News…I don’t know what is! So enjoy and be thankful this Good Friday!
“I speak of peace, while covert enmity under the smile of safety wounds the world.” – William Shakespeare ENMITY – is the state or feeling of being actively opposed or