Today is Good Friday. It’s a day when we Christians recognize and remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The recognition of this day is, of course, very significant in Christian faith. It is the day that our Savior took our sins to Calvary and died with them on the cross. But, it’s more than that. Far more. I have been thinking about Good Friday a good bit lately and wanted to share my thoughts.
My first thought is that Good Friday is a significant name for this day because it truly and securely solidifies just exactly how gracious our God really is. God is the only way to bring good from evil. Only from God can use something horrible to reveal something beautiful. God is love and only from His love do good and wonderful things come. That’s His way. The ultimate revealing of this is in Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, death and then, of course, His resurrection. Jesus suffered tremendously. He was tried unfairly and sentenced cruelly without cause. He was savagely beaten, made to carry His own cross in a weakened and bloody condition and was hung to die after He had endured painful and terrible torture. As He hung, he was mocked time and time again. The guards were so callous as to gamble for His clothes. His own disciples fled. He had to endure pain of every magnitude imaginable. He did this out of complete and unfailing love. The cross brought death to Jesus and He was buried. After unthinkable acts of violence and malice, He was laid to rest in a tomb. We can’t even begin to imagine what Jesus went through, really. It had to have been the most awful occurrence any of us could imagine and more. But, God with His abundant mercy, brought good from all of that. God turned that horrid situation into the most beautiful and meaningful event the world will ever know until the Second Coming of Christ. God resurrected Jesus on the third day. He brought Jesus out of death and back into life. He gave Jesus more time with His disciples so that they would be prepared to spread the Message throughout the world. Then God brought Jesus back into His heavenly home. How beautiful is that?! Just as the torture Jesus endured was awfully indescribable, the absolute beauty of his resurrection is equally indescribable. God, in all of His magnificent grace, took the most awful event and made something miraculous and beautiful from it. That is love. That is love, goodness and grace which can only come from God. God is the giver of all things good. And, only He could take something so terrible and use it victoriously for the good. This is the most amazing gift any of us could ever receive. God poured out His grace, mercy and love at the expensive of His own Son for our salvation. All we have to do is accept it and believe it. We cannot earn it and we cannot lose it if we truly believe. Salvation is God’s ever-present gift. There are just no words to describe how completely awesome this gift is. I am humbled just thinking about it. His grace really IS amazing.
So, today, as we recognize the symbolic day of the death of our Savior, let’s also look forward with hope. Jesus endured and overcame torture and death. He did it all for us out of love, mercy and grace. There is no hope more solid than this. There is no greater fuel for the fire of faith than knowing our Savior loved each and every one of us so much that He took our every sin to the cross, buried those sins with Him and left them behind when He rose in victory over death. This is our hope and our salvation. Today is not a day to mourn. Today is a day for renewed hope and gratitude for what Jesus did and for the love He continually pours out on each of us every day.