Holy Week Blog: Friday
“And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.” -Stuart K. Hine
“Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush Him.” – Isaiah 53:10
“You killed the Author of Life.” -Acts 3:15
During Holy Week, I tend to want to skip straight from the triumphal entry to Easter. I remember as a kid waving palm branches and singing, “Hosanna,” on Palm Sunday (even if I didn’t know what it meant), then hunting Easter eggs and eating as much candy as I could possibly eat on Easter before my parents realized what had happened. Even as an adult, I love the triumphant worship of our King on Palm Sunday, and the celebration of the Resurrection on Easter…but it’s impossible to get from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday without first traveling through Good Friday.
The term, Good Friday almost seems like a contradictory statement. In a matter of hours, Jesus was tried, beaten beyond recognition, sentenced to death, crucified, killed, and buried. It was a dark, brutal day. Not something you would typically call, “good.”
On top of the ugliness of the day, there’s the knowledge that we are the cause of it all. We are the crowd shouting, “Crucify him!” and the religious leaders scheming to kill Jesus in order to keep power. We are the murderer set free as an innocent man is sentenced to death. We are the soldiers driving the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet. It’s impossible for us to remove ourselves from this day, as if it was just another historical event. We are as much a part of this moment as anyone who was physically there. God had literally come to be one of us, and in our desire to be our own gods, we killed Him. “It is the day on which human beings — human beings who wanted to be like gods — kill the God who became human.” (Bonhoeffer)
For those that have even the smallest understanding of the redemption that took place on Good Friday, the word “good” is insufficient to describe the beauty in the midst of the brutality.
On the cross, God’s enemies become His children.
On the cross, God placed on Jesus the full weight of the guilt and punishment our sins deserved. And in so doing, he placed on us the full weight of Jesus’ righteousness.
On the cross, Jesus experienced death so that we would have life.
On the cross, Jesus was despised and rejected so that we would be accepted by the Father.
On the cross, God’s glory and love were on full display.
This is more than good news. This is more than just a “Good Friday.”
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 1 Corinthians 5:21
The ugliness of Good Friday should remind us of the ugliness of our sin, but when properly examined, the horrific day Jesus died should not cause us to look inward and become focused on our sin, wickedness, and the destruction it causes. It should help us look up from our sin to a holy, glorious, just, and loving God. This is why we can’t skip past the brutality of Good Friday to the glory of the Resurrection. Remembering the lengths that Jesus went to purchase us for the Father will deepen our love and worship of Him.