‘What’s so good about Good Friday?’ asked my young son after first reading about the suffering of Jesus for himself.
In most religious imagery Jesus is depicted as blood stained & thorn crowned- suffering & in anguish. We need to look beyond the narrative using the wide angled lens of God’s eternal perspective to see the ultimate good in Good Friday.
On that day eternity’s plan & Satan’s schemes intersected. Heaven & hell collided (not by chance but by Grand Design) On the cross wrath & mercy mingled like Jesus’ sweat & blood. And as love & grace flowed painfully, yet freely, the course of the cosmos shifted for all time & eternity .
On the cross we
‘See God’s salvation plan
Wrought in love
Borne in pain
Paid in sacrifice’
The cross dissects history in two-before & after Christ. At the centre of history stands Jesus on the cross for, ‘in Him all things hold together’ (Colossians 1:16,17)
The cross is the pivotal point of the cosmos- everything in history & eternity revolves round Jesus who was there in the beginning with God & is God (John 1) It hinges on the fact that Jesus, the Lord of the universe & Lord of all was the Messiah-the Chosen One. Jesus was the Lamb of God- born in a manger & slaughtered on the cross.
He died that we might live.
He suffered that we may be healed.
His body was covered in midday darkness – so we could walk in His light.
He was separated from His Father God (Matthew 27:46) so that we don’t have to be.
He took our sin that we would have his righteousness. In this unthinkable exchange ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV)
‘Jesus was made sin, not a sinner but sin-a sin offering & a sacrifice for sin’ (Matthew Henry)
The wide angled lens of God’s sovriegnty captures all the pathos of the day – the awful, awesome, shocking fact that ‘God Himself gave Himself, to save us from Himself’ (John Stott)
Read that profound truth again:
to save us from Himself’
There are no words to follow on from that profound truth.
If we truly grasp the outrageous grace & audacious love of God, we are speechless:
‘Undone by mercy & left speechless
Watching wide eyed at the cost
May I never lose the wonder
The wonder of the cross’
(‘The Wonder of the cross’-Vicky Beecher)
The cross symbolises the immensity of pure grace and the dimensions of God’s amazing love. Its breadth flows from one nail pierced hand to the other. Its height stretches from earth to sky-from hell to heaven.
‘We live our lives & never really know
How loved we are, or how far love will go’
‘I pray that you may have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ’ (Ephesians 3:17,18)
And that you would respond to the amazing love in faith.
For, we are forever blessed because of Him, because of what He has done.
And that makes today & everyday truly, deeply Good!