Remembering the meaning of Good Friday
Good Friday is the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. For Christians it is called “good” not because of the suffering of Jesus but for what he accomplish by his suffering. Good Friday is the day Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of all who call on his name. And from the cross Jesus spoke seven different things, his words reflect much about what happened on Good Friday as well as revealing the loving kindness of God.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
To those who physically put him on that cross, Jesus interceded because of their lack of understanding.
“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
To one of the thieves crucified with him, Jesus promised heaven on the basis of faith alone.
(To his mother) “Dear woman, here is your son”(To John) “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26- 27)
Even in pain and agony he was concerned for those he loved.
“I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
Showing his humanity, the pain, the hot Judean sun and the agony of crucifixion.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
At that moment not only did Jesus words fulfill Old Testament prophesies but I believe that was the moment of atonement. As he called out the words of Psalm 22 the sins of the world, sin of unbelief, sins that have been or will be committed, were cast upon Jesus so that mankind could be made right with God.
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
Knowing the process was complete, just as he willingly went to the cross, so Christ willingly gave up his life. Knowing there was no other way for people to be justified he gave up his spirit.
“It is finished.” (John 19:30)
The last words of Jesus were spoken in a loud voice. Those words may seem odd as last words spoken before death but as we consider the meaning behind them, it brings to light the power of the cross. “It is finished” literally means, “paid in full.” The price had been paid, the deal was done, the last sacrifice for sin had been given.
All of Jesus’ words from the cross remind the believer of the importance of the crucifixion because without them there would be no forgiveness. Without the cross there would be no fellowship with God.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
When some are ashamed by the cross and others think it’s foolish, to those who believe in Jesus the cross is the power of God. On Good Friday Jesus went into the darkness of death, but he would be raised from the dead so the world would never again be in darkness. The reason Good Friday is called “good” is because without it we would not have Easter. I hope you will use this season to check out the power of the cross and the joy of the resurrection.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.