Thursday, March 11, 2010
What's Good about Good Friday?
I stand amazed at the great lengths God would go to just to save us. You might say, "Why do I need to be saved? What am I being saved from?" It all goes back to the Garden of Eden. The story is found in the Book of Genesis. God created Adam and Eve and gave them simple instructions which ultimately they disobeyed. God had warned them that their disobedience would result in death. They chose to listen to the temptation of Satan rather than the clear command of God. The result was their banishment from the Garden, eventual physical death and separation from God. However God promised that he would provide a way of reconciliation for them. Since we all descended from Adam and Eve, the same curse is upon us, we're born, we die and without God's intervention we would be eternally separated from him in a place of torment...fire and brimstone.
God says we are all born as sinners. Some will readily admit to being sinners but others believe we are basically good. The problem is that we have the wrong standard. We think we're good because we're not as bad as others who may be drunks, murderers or thieves. God is the one who sets the standard and His standard is nothing short of perfection. "...For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood." Romans 3:23-25
I don't understand why God loves mankind but I'm just glad that He does. He loves us so much that He provided a way of escape from eternal punishment. If we accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and allow Him to have control of our lives, we can become righteous in God's eyes. "...When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:6-8
I'm currently reading through the Gospels as we approach Resurrection Day. It's good to be reminded of the price that Jesus paid to redeem us from the penalty of our sin. The cross can be minimalized to jewelry or clothing adornment but it was the most brutal form of execution ever known to man. But God decided this would be the method by which Jesus would willingly give up His life. "... Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face." "...So they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull. There they nailed him to the cross." John 19:1-3,17
That's what makes Good Friday "good". Jesus suffered the ignominious death on the cross but it was "good" for us because He became the substitute to appease a holy God on our behalf. I don't have to understand it, I just need to believe it and accept it by faith. "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." 2 Corinthians 5:21