It’s a Good Friday
One of the most difficult images ever is the absolute torture Jesus went through for you and me:
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Isaiah 53:5 NLT
This day is remembered as Good Friday. The day’s name is a far cry from the realities of that day. Who was this day good for anyway? If one was present on this day, here are some of the people who might have thought it was a good day:
• The religious leaders: They finally got rid of Jesus. They could begin to regain influence and control again in the context of their power, influence, and religious practices, all in the name of God, the Father of the one they were killing.
• The political leaders: It was the sacrifice of one man, but they threaded a political “hot potato” that quelled the masses. The death of Jesus would surely restore their order, influence, and power. Wouldn’t it?
• Barabbas: His death sentence was transferred to Jesus.
Most importantly, this was not a good Friday for Jesus. He had asked His Father if there was another way. His torture went far beyond physical brutality. He was being assaulted by all of the forces that seek to destroy the soul, eternity, the destiny for everyone since the beginning of time. It was a journey into hell.
For many, it was nothing remotely resembling a good Friday:
• Mary: Imagine a mother’s heart. To see her son, the Son of God, physically torn up and destroyed in front of her eyes is the deepest kind of pain. Yet, she saw her son, the Son of God, forgive his tormenters along the way. This was the most difficult of days.
• The disciples: Peter knew he had let Jesus down. Judas took his own life. It appears some stayed through the brutality of the day, while others were afraid they would be next, and so they moved to places of safety.
• Mary, Martha, and Lazarus: It was just a few days earlier there was this incredible dinner in honor of Jesus at their home. They had never had a friend like Jesus. The leaders had determined to kill Lazarus too. Hearts were broken, and they were at risk.
Satan thought this was his day. It seemed hell and evil would now be the permanent reality of earth. He had beaten Jesus, so it appeared. Little did Satan know.
Jesus came to the world to save it. Not condemn it. That is exactly what He did. Following the will of God the Father, Jesus knew what was required. It was His total voluntary and willing sacrifice, leaving nothing, sparing nothing, keeping nothing.
Remember these words from yesterday (the last supper): He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. Luke 22:19-20 NLT
What is “good” about “Good Friday” is everything that broke our relationship with God has been dealt with. Every sin. It becomes very personal in Jesus’ own words, “for you.” Jesus was forgiving and inviting people right up to his last breath on Good Friday.
There simply are not words for the extremes of this day. I’m sorry, forgive me, I don’t deserve this, thank you, I have never been loved like this before! You didn’t deserve this either, yet You chose this, because it was the only way to save all of us. I will tell this story of being saved by You for the rest of my life.
In Your name, I pray, amen.
-Ed McDowell, CEO
Warm Beach Camp Ministries