Today is Good Friday. On this day, Jesus Christ our Savior, pays the ultimate price for our sins as he is sentenced to death by crucifixion. Humanity’s evil in full display as the Lord of all creation is nailed to a cross of wood by our own hands to suffer and die a long, painful death.
So how is this good?
Good Friday has lately become one of the days of the year where I do the most reflection on my spiritual walk. I always knew the gravity behind what Good Friday signified, but I think it’s one of those things where the “head knowledge” didn’t completely translate to “heart knowledge” (But I guess better late than never!). I think a lot of it is due to the habit I’ve made the past couple years to read through one of the Gospels and follow Christ’s journey on the week(s) leading up to Easter Sunday, which has continually reminded me how amazing our Savior is and how undeserving I am to be saved from my sins. Good Friday is not just a day where someone I barely knew died, it is the day my Lord and Savior who knew me before I was knit in my mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5) died a brutal death so that I may have life, and life abundantly (John 10:10)
And what a brutal death it was. Before ending up on the cross, Jesus is betrayed by one of his own disciples, and not just any of his disciples, one of the twelve closest to him. He is dragged into the Jewish Council to be questioned, only to be falsely accused of crimes he did not commit. Yet he stayed silent. He is then sentenced to crucifixion as an innocent man, taking the place of Barabbas a murderer who is released in his place. On his way to the cross he is beaten and whipped, spat on, and anointed with a crown of thorns (ouch), all the while being mocked as people questioned his authority as the King of the Jews, as the Messiah, as God himself. Yet he stayed silent.
In the end he is stripped of all his clothes, nailed to a cross and hung on display, a criminal on either side. He hangs there, bleeding and suffocating. He cries out to the Father asking why he has forsaken him, and dies.
I wonder, when I read and hear about what Christ went through, why there wasn’t another way. I remember the message one of my pastors preached during last year’s Good Friday, and he talked about how at any point, Jesus could have said “enough.” and that would have been it. By just one command, he, as Creator, could have destroyed all of us. Everything would have been wiped out of existence in a moment. Yet he chose to die for us, so that we might not be in the chains of sin, and so that we, even though sinners, can have eternal life with him. For no other reason except that he loves us (John 3:16). So so much.
That’s why it’s good.