The “Good” in Good Friday

three-crossesMost of you know that on “Good Friday” Christians remember the day a little more than two thousand years ago when the Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died an unimaginable death on a wooden cross. Why in the world would we call it “good”? Why not “black” Friday or “bad” Friday?

We call this day Good Friday simply because it was the first of a three-day weekend that initiated the most unimaginable “good” the world has ever seen—good that was accomplished by the death and burial of Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for all of our sins . . . and then His glorious resurrection!

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

You see, that Friday was so good simply because we are so bad! The good news is nowhere near as good without unless we understand the bad news. The bad news is that we were dead in our sins and trespasses. We were on the run from God. We had no interest in things above because we were consumed with all things here below. We hated what was good in the eyes of God and clung tightly to what was evil. We did what was right in our own eyes. We were enslaved sinners in desperate need of a Savior who could free us from the reign of sin and death.

And how do we know these truths? Through the Law of God!

What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” (Romans 7:7)

The Law made it clear that we were in bondage. The apostle Paul admitted that he would not have known what sin was apart from the law. And once we understand the Law, we quickly realize that we cannot keep it, no matter how hard we try. The Law crushes our conscience and drives us to the cross.

But at the cross of Christ we encounter the good news of the Gospel of God’s grace—we receive His rescue for our ruin. God poured out His wrath and judgment on His precious, sinless Son, who took our place as our Substitute. On that first Good Friday, God demonstrated that he was both “just and the justifier” of all those for whom Christ died. What looked at the moment like a victory for the devil was actually his crushing defeat.

On Easter morning, God gave His stamp of approval on the cross work of Christ. When Jesus was raised from the dead and walked out of that tomb, He became the death of death. His resurrection on that glorious day points to the resurrection of all who have trusted in His saving work.

This weekend—and every other day of our lives—let us keep all the “good” of Good Friday in constant view.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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