Good Friday is a sacred day for Christians as we contemplate the depth and breadth of when Jesus died on the cross. It is an event that we sometimes need to give greater attention as it is not a holiday in the sense of taking the day off of work, but it truly is a holy day.
The events of this day make up what we refer to as Good Friday, a day that, on the surface, seems to be the definition of anything but “good,” but in reality, the death and burial of Jesus Christ is the beginning of the events that brought about the opportunity for each and every one of us to experience eternal life. It is all about the measure of God’s goodness in that He felt that we were worth the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
First, we are to understand that Jesus’ death was far from an accident. While at first glance Jesus’ death was the result of a mob of angry dissenters bent on His destruction, it was actually part of God’s plan for eternal life for everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. Remember that Peter tried to defend Jesus when He was about to be captured, but Jesus responded in Matthew 26:53-54—
Or do you think that I cannot call on My Father, and He will provide Me at once with more than 12 legions of angels? How, then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”
Consider that Jesus spoke these very words in John 17:1-5:
Jesus spoke these things, looked up to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so that the Son may glorify You, for You gave Him authority over all flesh; so He may give eternal life to all You have given Him. This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent–Jesus Christ. I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You gave Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with that glory I had with You before the world existed.”
“Father, I desire those You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the world’s foundation.”
Jesus was to complete the work that was planned all along on this sacred day with His death on the cross. It is clear that Jesus is speaking from the timeframe of BEFORE the occupation of man populating the earth, which means that we were part of the plan for salvation before Adam and Eve existed!
One cannot begin to measure the magnitude of what Jesus’ death on the cross involves except to conclude that His death on the cross was an act of benevolence and eternal love. His act of love was an act of obedience to His Heavenly Father, and His love for the Father also transcends to love for each and every one of us. Listen to these words in John chapter 15 that speak of this love for us a deep, sincere friendship that is born out of obedience to the words of His Father:
“As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is what I command you: love one another.”
“I made Your name known to them and will make it known, so the love You have loved Me with may be in them and I may be in them.”
The love of Jesus is a love that is far from the sadness that one would experience from a lack of understanding of what actually happened to Jesus on Good Friday—the love of Jesus for us should bring about a true joy in our understanding of Him and of our growing relationship with Him. Without His death on the cross, we would not have the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised for us to live within us. Without His death He could not demonstrate to the world’s believers the ability to overcome death by rising from the dead. All of these things were part of the plan of God for all of us, and they were done out of love. Even when Jesus was being nailed to the cross, He asked His father to forgive those involved for their sin, because He loved them. True love is to forgive even when you have been hurt.
Do you see the lessons that Jesus gives us on Good Friday?
- Keeping promises
We do not have to wait until Easter Sunday to experience the joy of a risen Savior. We can experience joy today in that Christ paid for our sins by dying on the cross one time that sacred day, and we believe in Him and will have life ever after with Him because of His amazing love.