Friday, April 10, 2009

Why Good Friday is Good

As a child, growing up with sporadic attendance in the Catholic church, I often wondered why Good Friday was good.

I asked the adults around and no one could answer my question,

"If Good Friday is the day Jesus died on the cross, why was it good?"

It wasn't until much later, when I was 28 to be exact, did I come to know and accept and receive in my life, the answer to that question.

If you look only at the New Testament accounting of that pivotal Friday two thousand plus years ago you might miss it.

But the Prophet Isaiah, as he writes about the coming Messiah, sheds insight as to why Jesus, dying on the cross, is good.

He writes,
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

Isaiah 53:4-6

All my grief and heartache caused by someone else's affliction, He understands and is acquainted with personally and intimately.

And (and this is a big "and") all the grief, pain and heartache I have caused other people
(my parents, husband, children, friends, & strangers)
all the punishment (or cost) for all my wrong doing,
He paid for with His body and with His life.

He willingly took the punishment that I deserved out of deep love for me.

What's that?

The punishment I deserved would have separated me from Him forever.
That is what Hell and damnation are-- separation from all that is good, right and true.
It is separation from God who is love and who is holy and just.

God, not wanting me to have to bear the painful cost for my sin, did what only He could do--

He sent His Son, to live a "penalty-free" life, a sinless life, so that He could take my place, my judgment, my punishment.

A mere man, with his own penalties can't accept punishment for someone else. A man destined for the death penalty can't be put to death twice.

Only an innocent man can be a substitute for a guilty one.

For God made Christ, who never sinned,
to be the offering for our sin,
so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:21

The very best news is that it wasn't just for me.

But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

Emphasis on the word 'all' is mine. I didn't want any one of us to miss it.

Jesus took the punishment for all our sin (past, present and future) that we deserved so that we could be restored to God once and for all.

For those that:

• Acknowledge that they needed Him to do it

• Believe that He did it on their behalf

• Accept that He provided it completely by His work (and not our own)

Need only confess it (acknowledge out loud, with their lips) while believing it to be true (internally, in their hearts) and they will be saved from judgment, from punishment for no other reason then His deep and profound love for us.

And that is very, very Good.



Ann said...

Amen...thank You Jesus...for your death on my behalf and because of that not only is today Good Friday, but all days are good because of my hope in being with You for eternity.

Lainie said...

Amen sister Ann!

Anonymous said...

I second that Ann! So be it!
Thanks, Mom. I always need to remember... God is so gracious and loving! Today is indeed Good. The Lord made this day, and His mercies are new every morning.
Thank You Lord!


kreativekoosa said...

Well said. Sometimes on Good Friday, I'm more somber, listening to songs about my sin and how Jesus willingly paid the price for all that I've done.

Then on Resurrection Sunday, I like to have a spirit of joy. That's what our faith is about. He conquered death!! I always, always have to listen to "The Easter Song" by Keith Green. It's so happy and encouraging. Always puts me in the right frame of mind for the day. Had to listen to it a couple of times this morning before work as well. :)

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