This is what Christians call Good Friday. Around 33AD, Jesus the Nazarene was crucified on a Roman cross. This happened the Friday of the Jewish Passover celebration. That celebration was a memorial festival for the Jews where they remembered God’s angel of destruction “passing-over” their homes and preserving their children. Jesus had been arrested late Thursday evening into Friday morning. Through the night into the morning he had been passed from leader to leader, both Jewish and Roman. The Jews accused him of blasphemy because of his claims of being the Son of God. The Romans accused him of treason because he had been called a King, the King of the Jews. Normally foes, the Romans and Jews came together to deal with their common problem—Jesus the Nazarene.
The decision was made, Jesus was condemned to the cross. He was beaten, mocked and scorned. He had to carry his own cross, the one that would die one, he carried it out of the city, up a hill and to its final resting place on Golgotha. There he was nailed to the cross, both hands and feet, and the cross was lifted up and dropped into its hole to stand. Around 3 p.m., after three hours of darkness, the man died. At the moment of Jesus’ death there was a great earthquake and resulted in damage to the Temple.
Friday saw a corrupt trial. An innocent man was tortured and killed. The Temple was damaged. Why in the world would we ever call this GOOD Friday? Is it sarcasm? Did we get it confused with the day after Thanksgiving?
No, it is rightly named Good Friday. It is good because God makes bad things good! Jesus’ death was bad. But God used it for good. Jesus from Nazareth was unique, there had never been anyone on earth like him. The historical records about his life say that he never sinned—meaning never lied, never stole, never disobeyed his parents, never went against God in word, thought or deed. Because Jesus was an innocent man, a man without sin, God used his death as a substitute for all of those who are guilty, who do sin. The death of Jesus satisfied the wrath of God against sin. But there is more—Jesus’ death was not final—two days later, on Sunday morning Jesus was brought back to life. The man who didn’t deserve to die, was raised back to life. In this moment, God also defeats the power that death has over humanity. We are told in letters that circulated in the first century after Jesus’ death and resurrection that his resurrection was the prototype for what God would do with the rest of humanity. The letters declare that those who know who Jesus was and trust in God’s plan will also be resurrected after they die.
It is a Good Friday. The two great enemies of mankind had been defeated—death and sin. God was able to do this because he makes bad things good. Remember that today. There is a lot of bad in the world. There is a lot of fear. There is a lot of talk about sickness and death. The news will tell every reason to be afraid. Jesus tells us not to worry. We don’t have to fear death anymore. We don’t have to fear COVID-19. Don’t get me wrong—its bad. But remember, especially on this good day, God takes bad things and makes good happen. If you have questions about this, or want more information, ask God to show it to you. He will.
Happy Good Friday! I love ya’ Maugansville!