No one seems to know for certain when this day of Easter week was given the name Good Friday. Maybe someone was trying to be more positive about the events of that day, thinking of its ultimate outcome, our salvation. I don’t see much good about this day, unless I look away from all that was done to Jesus, and focus instead on all that Jesus did for others. And all that Jesus ever did, was good.
Jesus endured a horrible beating at the hands of Roman soldiers. He endured a mock trial which gave permission to those that hated him, to ridicule and destroy him. He was handed down a punishment that brutalized his body and his soul. At the end of the day, Jesus was committed to a cross.
Jesus struggled to carry the beam that he would be nailed to. He was stripped of his robe and his reputation, and then lifted high to make sure his humiliation was complete. And Jesus said, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus was committed to accept his cross and offer forgiveness to those that hung him there.
In agony, he turned to speak with the thieves. One man mocked him while the other came to faith. (Luke 23:43) Jesus was committed to use his cross to bring others home, to his Father.
Jesus looked at John, the only disciple that had stayed, and asked him to care for his mom. (John 19:26-27) Jesus was committed to remain on his cross even when that commitment hurt the ones he loved.
Jesus said, “My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Jesus was committed to suffer his cross even though the sin that caused his suffering, was ours.
Finally Jesus said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) Jesus was committed to fulfill God’s purpose on his cross because that was God’s provision for us.
The only thing good about that Friday, was the good that Jesus did. And Jesus is good – all the time. Think about all the people you know, and love, that will go to heaven because of what Jesus committed himself to on that Friday. Now, take a moment and think about all of the people you know that still mock the One who died for them. Jesus says, “Forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” Put yourself in John’s place, look up at the face of Jesus and hear him say, “Take care of them.” Hear Jesus cry out to God, feeling forsaken because of sin, and know that there are people who feel that separation from God, all of the time. And then think about Jesus, who never stopped his earthly ministry until he was finished. May each of us show our gratitude this Easter by committing to be his disciple, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him daily. (Luke 9:23) May we be committed to the cross of Jesus until he returns to say, “It is finished.”
We wish you and your family a blessed Easter Sunday.