John 19:28-30 (NIV) “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed his head and gave up His spirit.”
It would seem a paradox to call the painful death and the loss of a friend or son a “Good Day.” But as believers, we understand it was a very GOOD Friday when Jesus died for us. Eternal damnation and eternal life were at stake.
God sent His only Son to earth in order to deliver humanity from sin. Every one of our sins was nailed to the cross of Jesus. No more animal sacrifices are necessary for our forgiveness. Jesus was the one and only sacrifice required and as He said on the cross, “It is finished.”
Sin will always separate us from having an intimate relationship with our Creator. But with the death of Jesus, the true sacrificial lamb, we need only confess them to God and He will cast them as far as the east is from the west. He forgets them in His willingness to forgive us.
Jesus lived among man and was Himself, “God in flesh.” This means that when Jesus took on flesh, he lived with certain constrictions and limitations. He felt pain. He did not fly around when he was tired of walking. His flesh had to go through the maturing process our flesh and emotions must go through, from infancy to manhood.
Jesus is called, “Son of God” 46 times in scripture but He is also called the, “Son of Man” some 88 times. Why so many times? The reason is found in Hebrews 2:16-18.
“For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” Heb. 2:16-18 (NIV)
Jesus, our High Priest, makes intercession for us day and night before the throne of God. He is our mediator and friend. He lived a life as man, and understands what it is to be tempted. He knew sorrow and wept over the death of a friend.
He became like us, not only to save us, but so that He could understand our challenges. He understands the frailty of the human body. He knows our frame and knows that it is but dust. His compassionate heart and love for us was deepened by his shared experience of living as a Son of man.
Christmas and Easter are holidays when we celebrate the birth of Christ and His resurrection. They are joyful days of remembrance and celebration. However, these are really only two of the three most important events of His life that we should recognize and celebrate.
His agonizing suffering and death was the prerequisite needed in order for God to resurrect Him from the grave. Indeed, it was a GOOD Friday when Jesus chose to follow through on God’s plan. By His obedience and willingness to die for us, we can now call ourselves adopted children and heirs to the King.
Celebrations do not always have to be with the exchange of gifts, feasts, and jubilation. They can also be joyful days of sober remembrance. Thankful hearts and expressions of gratitude expressed in prayer are an appropriate way to remember what our Savior accomplished for us on Good Friday.
To HIM be all the glory and honor and praise. Amen.
John 19:31-39 (NIV) “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.
These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of His bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the One they have pierced.