Humankind has had its share of dark days. 2014 years ago this very day we had our darkest hour ever. Jesus Christ was convicted and given a murderers sentence although the mans hands were clean and innocent. So clean in fact that the Bible says he was without blemish like a spotless perfect lamb. He was without sin. After being cast off from those who earlier sang his praise and being sold out by his close friend for a measly 30 pieces of silver, he was taken into captivity by the very ones he spent his life loving. He was taken and beaten; he was mocked and ridiculed. He received lash after lash with a flagellum that could easily kill a man. A Roman flagellum is not a whip. It is a tool made with brutality in mind. Metal and bone were embedded into it. A professional would be trained to literally tear flesh with it. It was against policy to give more than 39 lashes because 40 was considered a possible death sentence in and of itself. His back was whipped open; any person standing there would be able to see his bones. His beard was pulled out and a crown of unforgiving thorns was shoved into his skull. He was then forced to carry 2 heavy wooden beams up a hillside where he would be pierced to this cross. His feet and his hands would literally be pinned to this cross with stake like nails, his body raised and steadied in the brutal mid eastern sun to hang and die. This was a dark day indeed. After Jesus cried out to his Father saying, Forgive them Father! They dont know what they are doing. He breathed his last. The bible then teaches that the sky literally became dark and covered the entire land. It was only the afternoon and the sun was completely blocked from human sight. There was an earthquake; even the thick wall like curtain in the temple of the Most High God was torn in two. This was a bad day, a sad day But it was also a good day. I have compiled some reasons why we can give thanks to the Most High for this day. For this day was planned and purposed by God before the world had ever been made. 5 Reasons I say Hallelujah to my maker Jesus for this Good Friday.
1. We have a God who can relate to all of the cruelty that this world can dish out. He is not an untouchable impersonal God. He was the eternal God robed in human flesh. This divine Son of God let his own blood be poured into the dirt of the earth by the hands of his creation. You cannot get more vulnerable and personal than that.
2. Our sins have been forgiven! This is the good news!! The whole reason Jesus came and died like this was because God is just and there needed to be atonement for sin. I love this saying I heard the other day because it is so true. God saved us from himself- through himself- by himself- for himself! The only way sin and our offenses to God can be paid for is with death. That is why people die. When sin came, death came. But with Christ taking on the death penalty for us he got in front of the wrath of his Father that was aimed at us due to sin and gave us his righteousness.
3. Jesus was my Savior. He is my Savior. He will always be my Savior. I remember today that yes, Christ died for the ungodly! He died for me! But he is also a Savior for me on a daily basis. I hate the sin that so easily entangles me. I am a faulted man. I still sin and mess up. But I can call on Jesus to save me and it is not only in his power to cleanse me but he gives me the power to overcome my sins so now nothing can hold me down. Nothing has the power over me anymore other than what I allow to.
4. There is no chasm Christ will not cross to declare his love for us. For some people you might give your life. Maybe your spouse or children. A best friend of maybe your country. But how about your enemies? How about those that would deny you to your face even at such great a depth as this?
5. I now have peace with God. There is nothing left for me to do, to be righteous. I have attained favor with God based on this incredible act of Christ himself. The bible says that by believing in Him and that God raised him from the dead and confessing him as Lord I am now redeemed. There is no more waiting for coming judgment on the day of my death by a God who is holy and just. There is no more wrath abiding on my head. I have been loved and received by God the Father because I have the Son.
It is a Good Friday indeed. John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: that light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.