Good morning Church Family!
I think most would agree the two most celebrated days in the Christian calendar are Easter and Christmas. They provide an opportunity to remember the birth of our Savior as God Incarnate and His resurrection, signifying victory over death. For many, the third most important day in the Christian Calendar is Good Friday.
It may be possible that many people will question why we would call the day our Savior was crucified on a cross “good.” I am sure the disciples and those who had become followers of Christ did not view that day as a “good” day.
Allow me to review the events of the day:
• Early on Friday morning, Jesus appeared before the council of the elders and His trial begins. When He was questioned about being the Son of God, His response was: “You say that I am.” Their response: “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.” (Luke 22: 70-71) Do you see the distortion of Christ’s answer in their response? While we KNOW Jesus Christ was the Son of God, His response was that THEY were saying He was the Son of God. Yet they twisted His words, suggested He had made that claim to them. Scripture clearly shows their heart’s intention was to have Him killed at all costs.
• Jesus then appeared before Pilate for the first time. The result of their conversation – Pilate made the following announcement: “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” (Luke 23:4)
• Pilate sends Jesus to Herod. Jesus was from Galilee and Herod would have had jurisdiction over the region where Galilee was located. This is the same Herod who had killed John the Baptist. His interest in Jesus appeared to be more for sport and ridicule than condemning Him to death. Following Christ’s appearance before Herod, He is returned once again to Pilate without being found guilty of any offense worthy of death.
• Pilate is now faced with a decision: Does he release a man he knows is innocent or does he crumble under pressure from the chief priests and the people? Does he condemn Jesus to death?
• His decision reveals his lack of moral character and his willingness to succumb under political pressure. Pilate surrenders Jesus to the crowd to be crucified.
It appears Satan has won the battle. The good Jesus had introduced through His gospel of grace has been overshadowed by evil and death. Could any good come out of this tragedy? The answer is a definite “YES!”
It would only take a few days for the demonstration of God’s power and glory to be evident. Matthew records Jesus’ victory: “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”
The apostle John reminds us why God was willing to allow Christ to become our sacrifice and why He was victorious. It was because of God’s love for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!” (John 3:16) The victory is that Jesus’ death opened the door for US to have victory over death!
Three days later, they knew that Satan had not won. Evil had not triumphed. Love had prevailed! The love of God proved stronger than any evil Satan could generate. Not only had Satan been defeated, but DEATH had also been defeated! “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:9-10)
Christ’s death and resurrection produces a hope in believers that truly result’s in the conclusion that the Friday Jesus Christ gave his Life for us on the cross was indeed a good day. “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.” (1 Thess. 4:14) “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. ‘Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)
Jesus Christ became victorious over death and we can share in that victory by placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
We are reminded that come Sunday morning, the tomb was empty! Our Lord and Savior was alive! He appeared to the disciples and continued appearing over a period of forty days. Paul recorded in 1 Corinthians 15 that Christ appeared to over five hundred of our brothers and sisters.
Why do we call “Good Friday” good? Because Jesus became the complete/permanent sacrifice for our sins. We cannot earn our way to heaven. We all have sin and have fallen short of the glory of God. Jesus did what we could never do for ourselves when He died on the cross. His blood shed on the cross covers the sins of all who choose to believe in Him.
For that reason, “Good Friday” was indeed a GOOD DAY!
With our minds focused on the victory Jesus Christ achieved through His resurrection, we hope you will join us on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. for an exciting Spirit-filled service celebrating with one voice, one heart, and one mind our risen Lord!
Have a blessed Easter!