What’s So Good About Good Friday?
“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
Why is Good Friday good? If we look back on that particular day, approximately 2,000 years ago, and think about the excruciating pain Jesus went through, it doesn’t sound so good to me. And by the way, the word excruciating was derived from the word crucify, explaining how it felt.
Plainly stated, Good Friday was not good for Jesus–it was the toughest decision He ever had to make (see Luke 22:41-44)…instead, it was good for us.
So, what’s the deal with Jesus having to die? Why couldn’t God have made it any other way? The most intelligent answer I can come up with is this: I don’t know. He’s God, I’m not. I’m simply one of His many creations. But I do know He was mad about sin, and the world’s sins were left unpunished until Jesus’ blood was shed (see Romans 3:25,26).
What’s strange to us is that when God was mad about sin, He required blood (see Hebrews 9:22). He doesn’t require confession or repentance of behaviors/attitudes–those are carts after the horse. Instead He is, for lack of a better term, bloodthirsty. This is why the actual New Covenant doesn’t begin when Jesus was born, but after His Spirit left His body (see John 19:30, Hebrews 8:13).
Before the event on Good Friday, God required blood for sins, now He doesn’t (see Hebrews 10:26). This is why once a year on the Day of Atonement the Jews would sacrifice the blood of their very best animals to cover up their sins–not take their sins away or make them unpunished or completely forgiven–but to simply cover them up for one more year, until the next Day of Atonement (see Hebrews 10:4).
But when Jesus came along and shed His perfect blood, He actually took away our sin for good! He never sinned so His human blood was perfect! This is why Jesus didn’t simply cover our sins, but He banished them into oblivion! (See John 1:29, 3:5, Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 53).
After Jesus did what He did–and once we place our faith in that event for our own sin–God doesn’t even remember our sins any longer! He chooses not to! (See Hebrews 8:12, Romans 10:9, Ephesians 2:8,9). We become new creations in Christ. This means we are actually placed inside of Him spiritually. Another word for “placed inside of” is baptized. We don’t get placed inside of Him through water, but through faith. Water baptism is simply a celebration of your spiritual birthday–it’s not the actual day you are born again, unless you first believed that day (2 Corinthians 5:17, see Romans 6, Galatians 2:20, 1 Corinthians 1:17).
So why did Jesus have to die? Because of sin. The Bible says the wages of sin is death (see Romans 6:23). And you might say, “But Matt, He didn’t sin! That doesn’t seem like a very loving God to me!”…Oh, but my friend, He is a loving God…
He loves us so much that He gave us a way to become just like Him…the sacrifice of His very own Son. Jesus is a gift to us, from the Father (see John 3:16, Romans 6:23). Sure, Christ was a man, and He had to make His very own choice of laying down His perfect life, but He willingly did so to make a way for us to be spiritually spotless, just like Him. Those nails didn’t keep Him on the Cross, HE IS GOD, NOTHING CAN STOP HIM. Instead, His love for you did. He thought of you on that very day, as He hung there in pain, personally paying off your sin-debt punishment with the Father, forever.
He did this for you.
So today, my friends, know this: This is your Good Friday. Jesus was focused on the upcoming Sunday, but today was not good for Him. As He fulfilled the prophecy of becoming our Messiah, Christ was publicly ridiculed, beaten into a bloody pulp, forced to carry His own cross, and then hammered into it with huge nails. I BELIEVE THIS AS TRUE, DON’T YOU? I’m choosing to thank Him and choosing to believe, on this Good Friday. What about you? It’s your choice. God loves you so much that He’ll never force you to believe. Today can be your Good Friday as well! Simply tell Jesus, “Thank you, I believe.” He hears you! That’s all you have to do! And when you do, you will instantly become just like Him, in spirit.
A prayer for the day: Heavenly Father, thank you. I believe. Oh my goodness, THANK YOU! Thank you SO MUCH for giving me Jesus! I know it wasn’t easy to allow Him to take on the sin of the world, including mine, but I’m forever grateful! Thank you for the life you’ve given me IN HIM! I’m all yours, Lord. Continue to use me however you see fit. Continue to live through me, and take me into even greater knowledge of your grace. Guide me, protect me, give me wisdom, and help me to live this life THROUGH you! I love you SO MUCH! THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. And thank you. Thank you, Jesus, for your blood on the Cross, and what you did for me that day. Amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 2. Get your copy here!