“The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54)
Good Friday. The day Jesus was crucified on the cross. The day of sacrifice for our sins, death to the one and only righteous man on earth. Death to the one man who never sinned. Death to the Son of God.
Every year I find myself wondering, what is so good about this “Good Friday”? Why would we call it that? Why not “Bad Friday”? After all, it seems filled with a whole lot of bad, doesn’t it?
As I read through Matthew 26-27, I read about betrayal, denial, mockery, and crucifixion. I read how Jesus was taunted and abused. I read the story of His suffering and murder. Jesus was literally nailed to the cross. Can you imagine the agony He must have felt? Jesus was betrayed by His friend; how alone must He have felt? When He called out “my God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”, I imagine He was not having a “good” day. (Matthew 27:46)
This terrifying day, for everyone involved, did not feel good. Even the Roman Soldiers were having a bad day, realizing only after Jesus' death that they had taken part in killing the Son of God. Afraid that this day would still somehow be used for good, the priests and Pharisees even requested to have the tomb of Jesus guarded night and day to prove He would not rise from the dead.
And so, why was this day good?
When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished.” And bowing His head, He yielded up His spirit. John 19:30
This day was good because our sinful debt was paid in full, at an incredible price. We now have the benefit of living in a world where Jesus has already conquered death. We have the benefit of knowing the outcome. We know how this story ends, and so, that terrible day became good.
Now, I ask you to consider your own bad days, your own sinful ways, your own terrifying realizations. Can they still be good? Can God still bring them back to life? Of course, He can! He can because He is a redeeming God, full of mercy. He is the God who loves the world, you included, so much that He sent His one and only Son to the cross.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the cross! Thank you for the price you paid on Good Friday that we are reminded of every spring. I pray that we do not mistaken the pain and suffering for defeat. I pray we recognized your plan in it all and remember the story is never finished at the grave. Thank you for the sacrifice you made so that our sins are forgiven. You are a GOOD Father, full of mercy and love. In Jesus name, Amen.
Suggested Reading: Matthew 27