I never fully understood the purpose of celebrating Good Friday. I barely understood celebrating Easter. I would just do it because it seemed like the thing to do. It seemed like as a Christian, I was supposed to love Easter, and that Good Friday was special, but nothing I fully grasped.
I think for the first time in my adult life, I am grasping it now.
You see, I think we as Christians (mainly me) skip straight to the cross and how You rose from the dead to pay the debt that we could never pay. We skip the fact that the road You took to get to that cross was brutal, bloody, lonely, and horrific. We don’t really reflect on how much suffering You went through on that Friday before You were nailed to the cross.
You knew the suffering You’d go through. You realized that You’d be betrayed by someone in Your circle, arrested, and treated like a criminal when You were innocent. You clearly understood that those who claimed to love You just days before Friday would desert You and even worse, demand Your death. You understood all of this, and yet You still said yes to the cross.
Luke 22:41-44 (NIV):
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
You knew. You still said Yes, though.
You stood before the religious leaders of Your time, where You were questioned and condemned when they knew You did nothing wrong. You were taken to Pilate, and sentenced to a flogging….a flogging, which I read is a punishment intended to leave one short of death. A punishment where You were stripped of your clothing, and whipped repeatedly with a whip with sharp pieces of bone, having Your flesh torn from Your body. I can’t imagine Your pain, the shock, the loss of breath, the blood. Jesus. I can’t imagine. You went through all of that, had a crown of thorns pressed on Your head, was spit on, slapped, and beaten. You went through public humiliation. You carried Your cross and was nailed to it, and why?
Because You loved us. Because You knew that payment was due for the world’s sins and You were the only One who could pay that debt in full. You were the only sacrificial lamb that would give us full access to a holy God.
Jesus, to say thank You is an understatement. To say thank You is never enough. Even trying to live my life in complete surrender and dedication to You is never enough. But even still, I want to say thank You. Thank You for completely paying the price that I could not. Thank You for dying for every mistake I’d make, every lie I’d tell, every command I’d break from God…Thank You.
Why is Good Friday good?
Because of You.
And because of You, I have freedom, peace, joy, hope, love, and assurance that one day, I will stand face to face with You and I’ll be able to personally give my thanks, be able to worship at Your feet, and spend eternity with You. It’s good because the people I love so much in my life, and even those I don’t know in this world have the opportunity to say Yes to You and entrust their lives to You completely. It’s because I can get on my knees and pray and talk to God, the One who sees all, knows all, and cares for all. You make Good Friday good. You make life good. You, my Jesus, are good. I make so many mistakes and I hurt Your heart with my poor choices sometimes and for that I’m sorry. I love You so much and I never want to take Your love and Your sacrifice for granted. Please know that. Know that You are my heart, You are my life, You make life worth living. So thank You for making Good Friday good. Thank You for the cross, thank You for defeating death, thank You for the blood that washes away all my sins and the sins of the entire world.
Jesus, thank You for being good.
I love you,