4/2/2021 A Reflection on Good Friday

Good things cost. For instance, stimulus checks are good for my pocketbook, but cost the government. Marriage is good but requires the surrender of complete independence. Fasting is good yet momentarily deprives me of what I want. There is a price for everything, and Good Friday was spectacular for me, not so for Jesus. It cost Him His life.

It was excruciating at best, and yet He did it for me. My sin and self-will were not, in my estimation, worth it, but Jesus “for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). Our restored relationship with God was the joy He was looking forward to as He hung on the cross. Yet many today think that He was just a man. A soldier may throw himself across a grenade to save a buddy or civilian, a firefighter may run into a burning building to rescue others, but to die a prolonged and vicious death for people that may altogether reject you? I think not.

Yes, Jesus is truly man, AND He is truly God. Both are compatible with His character and nature. Peter and Paul both witness to His deity, as do the Gospels.

2nd Peter 1:1 states, “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ…”

Titus 2:13 “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ…”

Matt. 1:23, “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us.'”

Matt. 16:16, “Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

And Jesus Himself took no issue with receiving to Himself the worship and adoration of God. Christ uses the statement, “I AM,” throughout the Book of John. Why did they seek to kill Him? It wasn’t because He had a following; it was because of His claims. Matthew 27:43 makes clear that they understood who Jesus claimed to be when they mocked, “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.'”

My sin, your sin, the sin of the world cost God. And that is the beautiful craziness of our faith. Bruce L. Shelley states, “Christianity is the only major religion to have as its central event the humiliation of its God.”[1] And history is clear; everything about death on a cross was humiliating. What an incredible God we serve that our Creator would pay the penalty for His creation! Honestly, had it been me, I would have just started over. After all, what kind of God allows what He made with His hands to deny, resent, curse, and reject Him? Only our long-suffering, ever-living God! There truly is no God like Him!

You may call Him “Light.” John did, too. He declared Jesus to be the life and that His life was “the light of man. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5). Just know that “Light” has a name, and that name is Yeshua, Jesus, Lord of all Creation. And though He gave up His life, He also took it back up in victory! He took the penalty so that you and I could walk in a relationship with Him, not only now but forever. And every year on the anniversary of His death, I call it “Good Friday” because of how it benefited me. I get to rejoice because I understand that the travesty of His death is just the prelude to His glorious, physical resurrection that conquers all that death, hell, and the grave would rob me of and replaces it with life and an eternity in the presence of God.

If this is not what Good Friday is for you because you have yet to decide to surrender your will to His, why not do so today? In a world like ours, honestly, what are you waiting for? We all need the Savior. Call on Jesus. Ask Him to transform your life and fill you with His Holy Spirit. I am at peace this Good Friday. Because of this one torturous day in the life of Christ, every day of my life is a one of beautiful resurrection!

 

[1] Bruce L. Shelley. Church History in Plain Language, 4th Edition, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN, 2013, pg. 1.

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