I am reminded on this Good Friday that the First Good Friday didn’t appear to be good. The Lord Jesus had told His disciples for three years preceding His death, burial and resurrection that He would die and be buried, but He would rise again on the third day.
His disciples and others around Him functioned as though they didn’t believe Him. One of His disciples betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver. With the exception of John, who happened to be the youngest of the disciples, they all deserted Him. Jesus endured a trial that was false at its very foundations and He was falsely accused and then a coward of a leader allowed the people to decide who should be released from prison and saved from crucifixion.
Yet, Jesus knew all this.
He knew that His disciple Judas would betray Him, even as He washed His feet.
He knew that as He celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples and broke the bread and drank of the cup, that within eighteen hours His body would be broken and His blood poured out.
He knew that Peter, James and John would not be able to keep watch with Him as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He knew that Peter would whip out his sword to fight the angry mob in one moment, but would deny Him three times in the next moments.
He knew that false accusations would come.
He knew that He would be mocked, disfigured and the whiskers of His beard pulled out of His chin.
He knew that nails, lashings, and thorns would puncture His flesh.
He knew that spit would hit Him in the face and that as He carried His cross to Golgotha it would be to the cadence of “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
Yet, Scripture tells us that we are to fix “our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, emphasis mine).
I wonder if Jesus was able to view that Friday – with all of its heartache, physical suffering, separation, pain and emotion – as good because He knew that the end outcome would open up a door for man to be reconciled to God (His death on the cross) and for man to have abundant life (His resurrection from the dead)?
The temple veil that separated man from entering the presence of a Holy God had been rent in two from top to bottom and Jesus had made a way for sinful mankind to have a relationship with the Almighty Creator of the Heavens and the earth.
When Jesus cried, “It is finished!” from the cross – it was done. Everything that needed to happen to bring lost mankind back to God had now been completed. Not one thing needed to be added to what had happened, and not one thing needed to be subtracted.
It was finished then.
It is finished now.
For me, I put all of my trust in Christ Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection as my way to God. This is a way that I don’t earn or deserve and a way that I cannot possibly accomplish on my own. I am reminded on this morning that the Lord endured all of those things for me. He endured those things so that I might have a personal relationship with God.
If you are reading this as a believer in Christ, today is a good Friday. But, then again, the victory that Christ achieved through His death, burial and resurrection makes for a good every day.
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