“So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” John 19.16-21
Today is Good Friday. The only thing “good” about it is what happens at the end. The “during” isn’t so good. It’s Jesus, being humiliated, arrested, abused and suffering on our behalf. It’s the innocent being falsely accused and ultimately put to death upon a cross for something he didn’t do.
Today is Good Friday. The day over two thousand years ago when my Savior died for my sins. When he paid the ultimate penalty of his own life, becoming the sacrificial Lamb, for the wickedness of the world. When God’s broke heart, when this Father lost a Son, and when for a three days, all hope was lost.
Today is Good Friday. Jesus has bathed the feet of his disciples, he has broken bread, he’s retreated to the Garden to pray while his three closest friends slept just a few steps away. It was at this place that he was taken by an angry mob, his followers fled, and he was led like a Lamb to the slaughter.
Today is Good Friday. The day they nailed him to the cross, between two thieves with a sign above his head reading, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” And the man-God after enduring extreme agony, physical and spiritual torture and ultimately defeat, gave up his life and breathed no more.
Today is Good Friday. It is the day my Savior died. The one whom I love deeply. The one who rescued me from my own sin and shame. The one who never gave up on me, even when I continue battling and hating my own sin. It is the day he sacrificed all so I could be set free. He died so I could live.
I’ve walked now with the Savior for 33 years. It was 1986 that I surrendered my life to him, acknowledged by sins, and was born again. And now not a day or hour goes by that I am not grateful for what he did. Not a day goes by that I don’t experience his presence near me. I’ve heard his rebuke, felt his redemption and experienced his love as he form me into his image. I have walked the narrow road, fallen into the ditches of despair, and with his help, climbed back up to begin again. Today, I grieve the price he had to pay yet praise the God of grace and mercy for staying my execution.
Today is Good Friday.
“O Lord God, you are gracious. Your love is infectious. When I walk this road of life I reflect upon your promise to save me. You bless me incredibly. You enlarge my territory, you expand my influence, you embed wisdom into my soul. Come now, Holy Spirit, make me yours. Transform me into your image that you might receive glory and the world might have hope. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen