He was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
It seems counterintuitive to refer to the day when Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried as “good,” but its goodness is so utterly glorious that it’s cosmic!
For the Christian, Good Friday begins the celebration of the most momentous three days in the history of the world. That weekend began on the Hill Golgotha, where . . . well, Scripture explains it far more eloquently than I ever could!
Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
(Psalm 85:10 ESV)
When Jesus cried out, “It is finished” from that cruel cross, He meant what He said! The demands of God’s perfect, righteous justice were fulfilled when Jesus paid the penalty for our sins in full. Because Jesus took our place on that cross, receiving the full measure of God’s divine wrath for our sin, we have now received the first fruit of justification: peace with God.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” so that the holy demands of His perfect righteousness would be completely satisfied by Christ’s sacrificial death, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV). God’s unwavering, steadfast love for you, Christian, met God’s faithfulness to administer justice, and both were fully expressed at Calvary. Righteousness and peace met at the cross and kissed one another. This really is goodness on steroids!
But it doesn’t stop there. The weekend reached its glorious conclusion when God placed His supernatural stamp of approval on all that Jesus had done by raising His beloved Son from death to life.
“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:6 NKJV)
The angel reminded the women that Jesus walked out of the tomb, just as He predicted He would. You see, Good Friday’s goodness brings us to Easter morning and the Resurrection. If Jesus had remained dead in the grave, we would all still be dead in our sins. But Jesus was raised from death to life and showed Himself to hundreds of people during a 40-day period before He ascended back into heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of God the Father.
The “goodness” of Good Friday not only saves us from the penalty of our sin, it also begins the life-long process of saving us from the power of sin. Peter writes, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).
Jesus Christ’s wounds witness to the wealth of goodness that we have been given through His unimaginable suffering on that dark, dreadful day more than 2,000 years ago. To the watching world, evil had triumphed, but that “victory” was short lived. On Easter morning, Jesus became the death of death; and that, beloved, is the ultimate goodness of Good Friday. Let that truth set you free on this Good Friday as you prepare to celebrate the Resurrection.
Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting? (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!