Apart from a public holiday and the beginning of a four-day Easter weekend, have you ever wondered what is good about Good Friday?
Good Friday commemorates the execution of the greatest man who ever lived – resulting from a wrongful conviction at an illegal trial on false charges. What can possibly be good about that? In many ways, it was the darkest day in human history.
The man who was executed was Jesus Christ. He had spent the previous three years healing the sick and performing many miracles to show compassion to people as well as to demonstrate the power of God at work in and through him. His teaching during those three years still stands as the wisest and most profound ever spoken. Nothing he had done deserved death – he was the only perfectly good man to ever walk this earth. Humanly speaking, his execution was a gross miscarriage of justice.
But that is not the whole story. The Bible tells us that Jesus was willing to be executed in this way – to bear the punishment for the wrongdoing of others. He knew that no other man or woman could live a completely good life – we all say and do things which hurt others and break God’s heart. Only Jesus, as fully God and fully man, could live on earth without saying or doing anything wrong. So, only Jesus could die to bear the punishment of others – not deserving any punishment himself.
On that first Good Friday, it seemed as if evil had triumphed over good – but it was the other way around. Death could not conquer Jesus – on the third day (celebrated on Easter Sunday) Jesus rose from the dead. This was not a human tragedy – it was God’s plan to restore men and women to a right relationship with himself.
To know the love of God personally, we simply need to turn away from all we know to be wrong and ask God’s forgiveness, trusting that Jesus took the punishment that we deserve when he was executed. Knowing complete forgiveness and love is very, very good!
Come along on Easter Sunday to find out more about this very good news.