T.G.I.G.F. Thank God It’s Good Friday
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
(John 19:30, NIV)
Today isn’t just Friday. It is Good Friday; the day that Christians acknowledge the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. When growing up, I never understood why the day Jesus was crucified is referred to as “good.” What was good about the horrible way Jesus was treated and then killed on a cross?
In 2004, Mel Gibson directed the movie, The Passion of the Christ. I remember watching every scene, horrified with the brutality Jesus suffered at the hands of the Roman soldiers. Tears rolled down my face when the onlookers in the crowd spat on Jesus and yelled, “crucify him!”
Last night, in preparation for Good Friday, I researched the movie once again, reading comments from critics of the film. The general takeaway is that “Christians should be appalled at the portrayal of such graphic violence.” My first thought was, yes, Christians should be appalled, but not for the same reason intended by the critics.
Understanding why Good Friday is “good,” requires understanding the other side of the coin and what is “bad.” Scripture reminds us that every human being is a “sinner,” an offender of God, from the Garden of Eden to the present day. The Bible is very clear on this truth. But, the adjective, sinner, flies in the face of our worldly philosophy where people want to be tolerated for every lifestyle choice and never to feel guilt or shame in any way. If no one is a sinner, then no one needs a Savior. Therefore, the death of Jesus was unnecessary, and Good Friday isn’t good after all!
As sad as it makes me knowing this, I confess, I am a sinner. I don’t want to be, and I try hard to live as Jesus instructs for those who love Him and desire to be called His disciple. But, striving and falling short reminds me again and again why Jesus died. In His perfection as the Son of God, He paid the ultimate price for every sinner, for me. Jesus was and is the perfect Lamb, sacrificed once and for all so that whoever believes and receives His gift can stand before Holy God and not perish.
Good Friday is indeed very good! Easter is coming with the promise of resurrected life for Jesus and for all who love Him. To get to Easter Sunday, though, we have to acknowledge that Friday happened and walk past the cross. Look up! Jesus took your place, and He took mine. When He said, “It is finished!” the “it” was the price of sin. Thank you, Jesus!