Jesus was betrayed by one of his own disciples; he was then arrested, mocked, almost beaten to death, and then crucified on a cross on a Friday during Passover. So why on earth do we call that terrible day in history Good Friday?
It has been said that the Jews put Jesus to death. This statement is often misunderstood and can be an unwitting reason for prejudice against the Jewish people. However, it is important to note that the Biblical term, the Jews, refers to the Jewish leadership, not the Jewish people in general. The fact is, all people—you and I—put Jesus to death.
Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross—a mode of death* reserved for the dregs of humanity. Yet, Jesus willingly went to the cross; this was his life's purpose! Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was before him! Joy, in dying? Yes! Because he loves us that much!
So, what's so good about Good Friday? On that terrible and glorious day in history, humankind's sin debt was paid in full. God satisfied his own requirement, which is, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God took our punishment, he became the God-Man, and died in our place. But, that wasn't enough! Because, if Jesus had stayed in the tomb, that "Good" day wouldn't have been sufficient! The Bible says, if Christ wasn't raised from the dead, our faith is futile; we are still in our sins. . . . If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all people. But Christ was indeed raised from the dead (2 Corinthians 15:17-20)!
When we trust in Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, we are rescued from the kingdom of darkness, forgiven of our sins, and granted citizenship in God's eternal kingdom; beginning here and now (Colossians 1:13-14, Ephesians 2:1-22, see also Isaiah 53).
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" John 11:25.
Good Friday is good because Jesus overcame our greatest foe: sin and death!
The tomb is still empty! He is Risen . . . he is risen indeed! Happy Easter!
Copyright 2012 / 2014 SA Keith
*The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ
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