What makes Good Friday so good?
Three words; “It is finished.”
After thousands of years have passed since God first said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” and after the snake first tempted the woman and man fell into his snare of death, God had a plan of redemption. When Adam, the first man, was hiding from God from his shame in the garden, Jesus, God in man, was preparing for his first steps on the hill of Calvary.
Planned before the foundations of the world, God knew man would cave in and give into sin. Sin which brings death and suffering. But why?
Why would a God who is love allow this to happen? Why would He allow man to make such a deadly mistake? Why would he give His only Son to suffer for all of mankind to pay the price of man’s failure for sin? Why? The answer is simple and yet mind boggling. The answer is, God is love. God loved man, so He created him. Man was made to love God, but love without the freedom to choose is not truly love.
So man had the option to love God by obeying him, or choosing to rebel in the form of eating an apple from a tree that was forbidden.
Adam failed in his choice and since then every person to ever walk this earth, with the seeds of sin in their DNA since the beginning have failed too. The good news is that where man has failed, God’s love is greater. God gave man the free will to choose and God new that man would fail, so He, being the just and also loving God that He is, prepared a sacrifice in the form of man to pay for humanities failure.
It wasn’t just any man who could save humanity from their sins. It took God coming down in the form of man to pay for the sins of the world. There was a price to be paid, and it took the sinless Son of God to give his life as a ransom for our redemption.
The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Why though would God after man’s big failure and rebellion love us. Because God is Love. But God is also a just God and He cannot accept sin. So the God of love sought to redeem us, but His justice demanded payment for our salvation. How did he accomplish this demand? How could He fulfill His love and satisfy His justice at the same time? We find the truth in the verses of John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.”
That is it! That is what is so good about Good Friday! Mission accomplished! The victory achieved! Man is freed! Where Adam failed to sin in the garden and hid himself. Jesus defeated sin and death as He hung on the tree for all to see. In the words, “It is finished” Jesus was saying man’s payment for sin is complete. At the cross of Christ came the end of sin and death’s terror reign over man, but that is not the end of the story. So many just stop there.
But something incredible happened just three days later. Jesus was risen from the dead in proclamation of His victory over death and the gift of eternal life. And because He is risen so will we who believe on Him also be risen to new life in Christ.
“HE IS NOT HERE. FOR HE IS RISEN, JUST AS HE SAID.”
Risen to eternal life. Life after this life on earth where there is no death. No sorrow. And no pain.
Death is certain for every man in this life, but defeat to sin and eternal death is optional. Like Adam and like Jesus we to have the power to choose our response to sin. Sin which brings death. We cannot do it on our own, but the great news is that what we cannot do for ourselves, Jesus did for us when He died on His cross. Today you can choose to say, “It is finished” to your old life of sin and receive eternal life in Christ. That is what makes Good Friday so good. Your and my debt for our sins, was paid in full and our salvation was secured in those three words that Jesus spoke as he died on the cross, “It is finished.” Jesus did his part. In His great love He chose to die for you and me and pay our debt that we couldn’t pay. Now it is up to us to simple say, “Yes, Lord I accept.” Accept His payment for your sins. And then, like Jesus, you can say, “It is finished” and your old life will become new in Christ.
“A Wretch Like Me” – David D. Hanson