Good Friday

On Good Friday Christians worldwide are commemorating that Jesus was sentenced to death and crucified at Calvary. Good Friday is also called Great Friday, Black Friday, or Easter Friday and is the Friday before Easter. Religious leaders asked the Roman leaders to arrest Jesus for blasphemy. The story ends when He is crucified and died on a cross, just outside of Jerusalem.

Just a few days earlier Jesus people celebrated the coming of this man into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, hoping He was the God-sent deliverer. But Jesus was put to death by political, economic, and religious powers represented by Roman governor Pontius Pilate, King Herod Antipas, and high priest Joseph Caiaphas. They worked together as a demonic force to execute Jesus. It’s good to understand God did not kill Jesus; human culture and civilisation did. God did not demand the death of Jesus — we did.

Why did Jesus die?

But why did Jesus die for our sins? The Bible explains He died for our sins. Because of our sins. Jesus was faithful to show and do God’s will even to the point of shedding blood as he forgave sinners. Jesus did not shed his blood to pay off God in the form of a ritual sacrifice. That’s not what God wanted. Jesus shed his blood in faithful obedience to his Father’s will, demonstrating divine forgiveness…even as he was crucified! Earlier in his life, Jesus told the Pharisees, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice!’” (Matthew 9:13) And this was exactly what Jesus did. He lived mercy. And He died for it. Even forgiving a criminal, hanging beside Him.

Open arms

Look closely at the man hanging on the cross. With open arms, he embraces everything broken in humanity, all evil, all sins, all egoism, all selfishness. He is wearing a crown of thorns. People were longing for a King who will put everything right, but this is not the King they expected. ‘Father, forgive them, they do not know what they do’, is His prayer as He hangs on the cross, barely able to breathe. This is the King the human race didn’t expect, but this is also the King the human race needs so desperately. Someone who will undergo all evil and hold firm his loving and forgiving heart.

What is the good in Good Friday?

Good Friday feels like a sad day when a good human was executed unjustly. What is good on this Friday? Well, you need to look closely. In the darkness of that day, God showed how He was putting everything right again. Jesus took the blame, Jesus did not curse. He showed fully who God is. Well, he is like a man hanging on a cross. On the darkest day, God showed that He would rather experience injustice and even die, than that he would pronounce judgement and leave us hopeless. Jesus, hanging on a cross with His arms wide open, is showing that He will embrace everything that goes wrong in our lives, everything dark, everything secret, everything evil. There’s more that can be restored than you can even imagine!

The story isn’t ended

It can feel like a sad story. Christians believe this was not the end. The story of Jesus isn’t ended with His death. Good Friday will be followed by the Holy Saturday but a new week will come. Easter is coming! And on that day everything changed!