As I was reading a book on the Watergate Scandal for my American History II class, I realized what day it is: It is “Good Friday” readers. So, I felt compelled to write a blog post describing why today is, in fact, a good day.
Good Friday is supposedly the day, 3 days before His resurrection (Easter Sunday), that Jesus was hanged upon a cross on Calvary. Wow, that doesn’t sound good. Our Savior, our Messiah, hung on a cross (a torture instrument meant for criminals) until death? How is that good? Well, let me tell you.
In the Old Testament, we read of a “Suffering Servant.” Isaiah 53:3-5 reads, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace; and with his wounds, we are healed” (ESV). This passage parallels with John 19:16b-18 which reads, “So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them” Also, look at verse 30 which reads, “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” Readers, Jesus is the Suffering Servant that Isaiah foretells. Jesus was “pierced for our transgressions” upon the cross and “laid upon him was the chastisement” that we should have endured. By dying on the cross, Jesus fulfilled Old Testament Scripture as the Messiah.
Romans 1:18 reads, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Romans 3:23 reads, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Now, think about this readers: Romans 3 tells us that we are all sinners who fall short of God’s glory daily. This makes us unrighteous because we have sinned. Now, Romans 1 tells us that the consequence of being unrighteous is God’s wrath. So, God’s wrath is geared towards US because of OUR unrighteousness. Bad news, right? Well, take a look at Galatians 3:13 which reads, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'” Readers, this is GOOD NEWS. Due to being unrighteous sinners facing the rightful and just curse of God’s wrath, Jesus became cursed for us by hanging on the cross and facing God’s wrath in our place!! His death achieved atonement for all of God’s people. Merriam-Webster defines atonement as “reparation for an offense or injury” (Merriam-Webster, Atonement). Christ is our atonement. We are made right with God through the death of Christ on the cross. Christ became sin so we we can now be forgiven of our sin. What a beautiful image that is called “the gospel.” What makes it even more delightful is this: “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him [Jesus]” (Isaiah 53:10a). Readers, today is a good day because Jesus is the source of our salvation because it was the will of God that he be crushed under God’s wrath so that we can be redeemed.
As I think of this horrific, holy, righteous, just, unbelievable, shocking, and beautiful display of God’s wrath, I think about this conversation that C.S. Lewis wrote within his book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:
Mr. Beaver: “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.“
Susan: “Ooh. I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
Mr. Beaver: “Safe? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.“
Readers, today is Good Friday because we have been shown God’s good grace, mercy, and love. Let us rejoice and prepare to celebrate the glorious resurrection of Christ, our Savior!
Soli Deo Gloria,
Cameron R. Knowles