By David M. Kowalke, Jr. | @hongkongkowalke | TRINICY.org
Photo by Thomas uit Apeldoorn
Many call the day Christ died “Good Friday," but what exactly is so good about it?! As the crossroads of Time and Eternity intersected on that awful hill, on that place of pain and judgment, Jesus uttered His last words - words that spoke volumes to those gazing up at Him in horror. These same words reveal to us today the depth of His love for us and for the whole Word!
1) THE FIRST WORD: FORGIVENESS. Luke 23:34, “Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.' And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” This was the first time Jesus asked the Father to forgive others. He had forgiven before (Mt. 9:2; Lk. 7:48), but now He asks the Father to forgive them in their ignorance, because an atonement is still required (Lev. 5:15, 16). Their blind hearts ought to have known what they were doing. Forgiveness is so misunderstood.It is not some kind of spiritual "amnesia." It is choosing not to keep score anymore because the righteous demands have been satisfied in Christ.
2) THE SECOND WORD: SALVATION. Luke 23:42, Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” The thief dying next to Jesus had found that the end of his rope was a very holy place. He stopped hanging on and trying and, instead, let go and trusted that this Jesus was a sinless and dying, yet coming and conquering, king. This dying thief could do nothing to gain his salvation, except to believe that his sins were atoned for. We know that his eternity was sure - Jesus said so. Now, you and I can know that salvation is ours, not based on what we do for God, but based on what the Son of God has done for us!
3) THE THIRD WORD: AFFECTION. John 19:25-27, Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” Joseph, now dead, was not Jesus’ father, neither was Mary the "mother of God." All had deserted Him. John’s affection for Jesus kept him at the cross, and Jesus, with His heart bursting with love, knew that this affection was what Mary would need in the difficult times ahead. Jesus’ heart yearns for you. How long will you stand with Him?
4) THE FOURTH WORD: ANGUISH. Matthew 27:46, About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”— which means, “My God. My God, why have you forsaken me?” This was not merely the anguish of physical pain; it was the anguish of sin. These were words of misery and words of mystery. The bitter tears in Gethsemane, just a few hours earlier, were tears of distress, not tears of distrust. For a moment in time and eternity, the Father turned His back on His Son and the wrath and punishment that you and I deserve fell on Jesus. We may not fully comprehend it, but we ought to gratefully accept it!
5) THE FIFTH WORD: SUFFERING. John 19:28, ”Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I am thirsty.' His sinless humanity was emptied out. His greater thirst had been to do the will of the Father. Have you been in a personal drought? Jesus understands thirst!
6) THE SIXTH WORD: VICTORY. John 19:30, “When He had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” He literally said, “It is completion.” Just as Jesus completed His mission to “seek and to save those who are lost,” so “He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it." His payment was enough!
7) THE SEVENTH WORD: CONTENTMENT. Luke 23:46, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When He had said this, He breathed His last. He went home. But Jesus had also said, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also!”
Again, what is so good about this Friday? It is the day death died! What is so good about this Friday? It is because of the Sunday that followed!
He is risen, indeed!
4/17/2020 09:12:39 am
Thank you, Dave, for the inspiring Word. I should have done it long before, but nevertheless, your article is worh reading and helpful.
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