Friday, April 14, 2017
What's Good about Good Friday?
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, single 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 all of us descend from Adam and Eve, the same curse is upon us. We're born, we live for a certain number of years, and then we die. And without God's intervention we would be eternally separated from him in a place of torment, outer darkness, fire and brimstone.
Only God is perfectly good. We are all born as sinners. Some people 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, rapists or thieves. But God is the one who sets the standard and His standard is nothing short of perfect righteousness.
"...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 us so much, but I'm just glad that He does. Because of His great love for us, He provided a way to be reconciled to Him and escape eternal punishment. If you will accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and allow Him to have control of your life, you will become righteous in the eyes of God and receive His free gift of eternal life. No strings attached.
"...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. Today the cross is glamorized as jewelry or clothing adornments but crucifixion was the most brutal form of execution ever devised by man. But God decided that 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 is "good" about Good Friday. Jesus was beaten, bruised and bloodied beyond recognition and He suffered the ignominious death on the cross, but it was "good" for us because He became the sinless substitute on our behalf. God poured out His just and holy wrath on His own Son, whom He had made to become the very embodiment of sin. All you need to do is believe it and receive Jesus Christ by faith as your Lord and Savior. Good Friday can be "good" for you too when you choose to become a follower of Jesus Christ.
"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