Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What's So Good About It?

What's So Good About Good Friday?

My whole life I have wondered about that. recently, since my acceptance of my salvation, I have accepted the generally given explanation with an ill feeling of incompleteness.

I was told that it was called Good Friday because when Jesus died, all of our sins were forgiven. 

1 John 1:7 (NIV) "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

That is indeed good.  So I bought in, and I taught it, yet it was never really a good explanation for me.  The other side of the equation always stuck in my throat.  What about who killed him.  in Acts 4:25 (NIV) we read, "You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.' Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen."

Pretty clear here that Paul wants us to see that it was not the Romans, the Jewish people, or even the Jewish leaders that were the reason that Jesus died, but rather, it was the will of God that his son should be sacrificed.  And why is that?  Because of my sins.  God is both Good and Just, so we can not be in communion with the father, unless a sacrifice is made, and this was the sacrifice.  

We were the hammer that drove the nails into the flesh of the living son of God.  We killed him.  I killed him.

What's so good about that?

So I kept looking for the reason.  Then it hit me when I was reading Jesus Did It Anyway, The Paradoxical Commandments for Christians by Kent M. Keith.

And there it was.  The name Good Friday has nothing to do with what we did to Jesus, but rather what Jesus did, as we were nailing him to the cross.

Look at what we did to him first:

1) We stripped him, and put a scarlet robe on him, so we could mock the king,
2) We spit on him,
3) We beat him,
4) We nailed him to the cross.
Matthew 27:27-31 (ESV) "Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters,and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him."
This was his response, while this was all happening:

1) He asked God to forgive those who were killing him,
2) He Hooked up his family and friends to take care of each other,
3) He told a criminal next to him, who showed faith and asked for forgiveness that he was going to heaven that very night
John 19:26-27 (ESV) "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Luke 23:42-43 (ESV) And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments

That's whats Good about Good Friday.  We have a game plan, a map, and template for what we are to do to and for each other when it hits the fan, and the fan breaks.  Love each other anyway.  Just like Jesus did for us, as we used the hammer to kill him.  He loved us anyway.  We love them anyway.

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