Imagine the incredulity on the face of the apostle John if you stood next to him on that day, that Friday, and called it “good.” Jesus was condemned before breakfast and crucified before dinner. Through the years, the church has spoken the word “good” into the reticent foreboding that has accompanied Friday of Easter week.
How could Good Friday be good?
- Good for us - The easy answer is that the crucifixion of Jesus is good for his people. In that Roman capital punishment, God poured out his wrath on the Christ as an atonement, an offering for his people.1 He bore our iniquities. By his wounds, we are healed.2 Jesus paid our sin-debt to God.3 Redemption was purchased for us, a righteousness that we cannot will not ever lose. For the Christian, Good Friday is oh so good.
- Good for the Father - At times the Father is painted as the angry God of the universe balanced with Jesus, meek and mild, of the New Testament, a gross misrepresentation of the Bible. God the Father loves his children. God the Father was a willing participant in the plan of redemption.4 He had to give up his son for the redemption of the people he loved. But in the darkness of that day, God the Father gained the children in who he delighted, those won through the self-sacrifice of Jesus.
- Good for the Son - For the joy set before him, Jesus endure the cross.5 Neither emotion was diminished in Jesus, the horror of the cross and the joy of enacting redemption for his people.6 Jesus wasn’t a dumb ox, led to the slaughter. He knew exactly what he was doing and what it would take to redeem God’s people. And so, in the pain, the death, Friday was good for the Son as well.
Don’t miss the dark, the dread, horror, injustice, and bewilderment of Good Friday. And into all of those dark ruminations hear God himself say again, as he did during the first week, “It is good.”
- The cross is an accurate judge of what it took to save you. Can you now see the horror of all sin, the joy of repentance, and joy of salvation? Does it make you want to sing, to pray?
- Could God have displayed his delight for you, Christian, in any more powerful way? What could he have given, have done to prove his love for you but what happened on the cross?
- What do you need to do to ensure that you’ll be with us, worshiping the crucified but also resurrected Savior, Jesus?