What is it that makes today “good?” Would anyone without knowledge of the Christian faith ever understand what makes this day good? We certainly can understand the dilemma that others have with our faith. After all, how can you explain death as good and suffering as helpful? How do we explain our affection for the cross?
Why is this Friday good?
First, the work of Christ on the cross does more than anything in history to reveal God to human beings. When we see what the Father allowed and what Christ did, we begin to see God as He truly is. Could John the apostle have said, “God is love” (1 John 4:8) apart from the cross? The cross shows us the love of God in a way that nothing else can.
Second, this Friday is good because it completes God’s plan of redemption. Through the cross of Christ, God did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He took our sin upon Himself. He who had never known sin became sin for us.
Third, this Friday is good because it provides a once and for all sacrifice for sin. When Jesus said, “It is finished” He meant more than His earthly life being finished. His death completed for all time the need for sacrifice. The writer of Hebrews showed that the sacrifices in the temple were not complete because they had to be repeated over and over. When Christ died, he completed for all eternity our need to sacrifice.
Instead of asking for our sacrifice, God gave Himself as the sacrifice for our sin.
Thinking of this, I’ve often said that the ultimate heresy would be for Christians to offer sacrifices like those of the temple. To do so would be denying the once and for all sacrifice of Christ.
Fourth, this is Good Friday because Christ’s death brings forgiveness of sin. By the blood of Christ our sin is forgiven and our iniquity covered over. He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sin (1 John 1:9). No wonder we call it good.
Fifth, the work of Christ on the cross opens the way to God. We may go to the Father because Christ opened the way to know and follow God. We have hope because Christ died for our sin according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).
For this and many other reasons, we call this day “good.” Thanks be to God who gives us the victory in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is indeed a good Friday.
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