Is it not strange that the single most evil thing ever done by human beings is an event we call “Good?” On Good Friday, the only perfect man ever to walk the earth was murdered. On Good Friday, the Son of God was brutalized by sinful men. On Good Friday the merciful and kind Lord Jesus was tortured and crucified. How can this be good?
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 – 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Mankind, because of our sin, is separated from God. We all have rebelled against the Lord and earned his judgment. The wages of such sin is death, the eternal infinite wrath of a holy God (cf. Rom. 6:23). In our sin, we separated ourselves from God, battling against him and attempting to throw off his rule.
On Good Friday, God worked the work of reconciliation between God and man. Jesus voluntarily substituted himself for all those God will forgive. God the Father laid on Jesus, God the Son, the full weight of his wrath. God the Father justly punished our sin in Jesus so that we would not have to spend eternity suffering the wrath we deserve.
God also did the work to accomplish a glorious trade on Good Friday. Jesus, God the Son, had lived an absolutely perfect life. Jesus had obeyed the word and will of God so that the Father was well pleased. Where you and I have failed, Jesus succeeded. Because of Good Friday, God can grant us the most unbelievable of gifts. God will trade us Jesus’ righteousness for our own failings. Where our record is blemished and calls us to judgment, God gives us Jesus’ perfect righteousness as a gift. Good Friday is good, because there God moves to be able to give us the perfect righteousness without which none of us could ever enter the presence of God.
If you have not come to Jesus for this gift of grace, why not do so today? Believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose again to save your soul. Confess your sin against God and need of a Savior. Commit your life to follow Jesus. Ask God for his mercy because of Jesus. If you turn from sin and trust in Christ, God’s word promises you eternal life and perfect forgiveness because of the finished work of the Son of God.
For us all, pray: Take a moment to pray. Confess your rebellion against the holy God who made you. Thank him for punishing Jesus in your place. Thank him for making a way for you to be reconciled to God. Thank him for giving you the gift of the perfect record of Jesus in place of your own. Ask God to empower you to worship him and to rightly yield your life to him out of gratitude and love for the Savior.