The Friday before Easter Sunday, Good Friday, is when the Christian faith stops to remember the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. What makes it “good”? The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “But God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8). Paul’s words sound so simple, “Christ died for us.” This verse is pregnant with truth, love, and forgiveness. It is not until we understand how Christ died that we can even begin to appreciate what He did for us.
At the time of Christ’s death, crucifixion was considered the most brutal and painful manner in which a person could die. The Roman soldiers were experts on the subject of death; they ate it, breathed it, slept it; they even seemed to enjoy it. For six hours that Friday, Christ’s body hung on the cross, bleeding with nails in His hands and feet. An internal torment takes place as the weight of man’s sin bears down on His body. His spilled blood secured our salvation. The sights, sounds, smells, and other-worldly activity made this day like none other in history. Coupled with Passover, death filled the air. Stephen Mansfield, in his book, Killing Jesus wrote:
Not long after the sky blackens and Jesus begins wrestling sith something unseen, the horrible cry fills the air. It is eerie and low at first, but then it rises and haunts the hearers the rest of the day. It is the screaming of the lambs. This is the Day of Preparation. In these next hours, the sacrificial lambs will be slaughtered. Already men have been carrying their white, bleating offerings to the temple. The killings begin at three.
The Jewish religious leaders claimed to be the spokesmen for God and knew what it took to please Him. They were “good” people. They also hated Jesus because He claimed to speak for God. The leaders missed the fact that the Son of God was with them; He talked with them. He walked with them; He brought to light their sinfulness. If anyone should have known Jesus was the Messiah, it was them. The actions of both groups seem unimaginable.
What happened to Jesus was not “good.” However, a great good came out of it. Left alone and to ourselves, we are lost. Left alone and to ourselves, we remain far from God. Left alone and to ourselves, there is a purpose in life we will never recognize. The Friday Jesus died, the way for the sinner to know forgiveness and redemption was made straight, straight from the veins of Christ to the very throne of God. In our lost state, God still loved us. Paul said it so right back in verse eight, “God demonstrated His love toward us.” The good that happened on Friday was salvation, a rescue.
Jesus left us a command in the Lord’s Supper to remember Him. Tragically, we require a reminder to remember the One who gave His life for us. The actions of that Friday were indeed not “good.” However, the results of that day are priceless. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming.