Good Friday. It Really Is…

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 11 Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation. -Romans 5:6-11 (NET2)

There were many who criticize Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ for its brutality, claiming it didn’t need to be portrayed so savagely on the screen. Really? I disagree. Putting aside what one may think about Mr. Gibson, the movie drove home a very important point: Christ suffered horribly to redeem those He came to save.

A book I found very informational is Killing Jesus, written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. The book provides some historical background so one can understand the absolute brutality of the culture of that day. Crucifixion is probably the worst form of execution that depraved humanity could devise. It is preceded by scourging, often exposing the inside parts of a person while they suffer indescribable pain. I can only imagine what that must have felt like. Moreover, I am sure that my imagination would not do it justice.

Although we know that there is still much horrific barbarism that takes place in the world, our modern culture has done a good job and minimizing it in the name of civilization and sanitizing much of it for consumption by the general public. But let us not forget for one moment that evil does still proliferate in this fallen world.

To the unregenerate man or woman, Good Friday would mean nothing. They may regard Jesus as a ‘good man’ or good teacher,’ but that would be the extent of their thought or attention to the matter. People die everyday, some in horrible ways after long periods of suffering. In fact, in 2011 it is said that nearly 2 people died each second. There is no reason to think the number would have changed that much, if at all in 2019. By my math, that is 172,800 lives a day or 63,072,000 for the year. So what is one more? If you are fortunate enough to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, that ‘one more’ means the difference in determining your eternal address.

Because Christ also suffered once for sins,

the just for the unjust,

to bring you to God,

by being put to death in the flesh

but by being made alive in the spirit -1 Peter 3:18 (NET2)

To simply take Good Friday as it is without knowledge of what happens next would not provide much comfort or encouragement at all. Jesus would have been just another good soul who died and whose teachings are recorded somewhere for posterity, not at all unlike many other religious/famous figures throughout history. But something happened that did not happen for the others. He rose from death to offer the promise of life to all who believe. He paid the price for us so we don’t have to. We do not have what it takes to repay the debt, anyway — even if we wanted to.

28 Now after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’ Listen, I have told you!” 8 So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 But Jesus met them, saying, “Greetings!” They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.” -Matthew 28:1-10 (NET2)

We know the end of the story. We also know that the end might be looked at as our beginning. Eternal life begins now in the person of Jesus Christ. Embrace Him for what He has done for you and know the peace of God that passes all understanding. May you find the eternal blessing this holiday.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies,  and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” -John 11:25,26 (NET2)

Wishing all a meaningful Resurrection Day!

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