Have you ever wondered why we call the day Jesus was crucified “Good” Friday? Honestly, I’m not sure where the term originally got its name. In some languages the day is translated “Long Friday” or “Sorrowful Friday.”
There are some who hate the name “Good Friday.” Our beloved Lord and Savior was horrifically beaten, emotionally betrayed, hung on a cross with nails in his hands and feet, and tortured. How can we love Him and call that “good”?
It does not make sense to everyone, but I believe such a name fits the events of that day. What Jesus went through was horrific. Even with all the movies, passion plays, and graphic sermons that depict His death, none of us can fully imagine what Jesus went through – or what Mary went through and others who loved Him. However, that day is more significant than any other day in history. On that day, Jesus supernaturally took on all sin on Himself and died in the place of those who would repent and believe in Him so that we could be set free from the bondage of sin, and live eternally. What Christ accomplished that day was indeed very good. Without it, we would be destined to pay for our sins eternally in Hell. There had to be a perfect sacrifice. Jesus was the only perfect sacrifice and His death satisfied God’s righteously indignant wrath.
A Holy God
When Adam and Eve first walked in the garden, there was no sin. They had no reason to be ashamed. They fellowshipped with God, freely and openly. But, when they disobeyed the word of the Lord and ate the fruit God commanded them not to eat, sin entered the world. They realized they were naked and quickly covered themselves. They hid from God and the pure relationship they had shared with Him was lost. Sin drove a wedge between God and man which man had no power to remedy.
As a result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden and each of their offspring were born sinners. From the first people on the Earth, to the billions alive today, all mankind has needed a savior from God’s wrath on sin. Mankind sinned, thereby removing moral perfection and bringing sin into the world. Jesus, the second Adam, came into the world, both fully God and fully man, to pay the debt to satisfy God’s wrath for our sin. He bridged the divide between God and man.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” – John 14:6
There is no way to God (or peace and Heaven) without Christ. In order to repent and believe in Him, God must first grant the grace and ability to repent to the individual and replace his or her deadened heart of stone with a regenerated heart of flesh. Our response from His regenerative work is to acknowledge our need for a savior, repent of our sins, confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and trust only in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to save us.
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” – Romans 10:9-10
Repentance and Freedom
Repent: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26
When He gives us a new heart, then we repent of our sins, confess Jesus is Lord, and put our trust in Him to save us.
Many believe they will lose their freedom if they turn from their sin. I love my life! I wouldn’t want to stop partying with my friends! However, when the Holy Spirit draws us and we surrender to His Lordship, we find supernatural freedom! It is not something we can understand without the Holy Spirit changing our hearts, but when we become “slaves” to Christ, we also experience freedom like we have never known!
In Christ, all shame is gone. All condemnation is gone. We are washed whiter than snow.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1
I have been covered by sin and shame and I have experienced the joy and freedom that comes from repenting and trusting Christ. I am forever grateful for Good Friday.
If someone you did not even know pushed you out of the way of an oncoming train, would you not be forever grateful? If we would be so incredibly grateful to have someone save our earthly lives, how much more grateful should we be to Christ for sacrificing Himself so that we may have eternal life?
Being Born Again (by Eric)
Becoming a Christian is a supernatural work that God first does in us. As stated above, God must first grant repentance for a person to be able to confess and repent of their sin and believe in Jesus. If you have not confessed and repented of your sin, we encourage you to pray and ask God for Him to grant you repentance so that you may repent.
If you have not been regenerated, it can often be helpful to look into the depravity of your sinfulness. Though this does not save someone, one of the best exercises I have heard of (and have personally done) is to go through the Ten Commandments reflectively. Take a large notepad and start with the first commandment. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind every time you have violated that commandment and write it down on your paper. Keep doing that until you cannot think of any other ways you have violated it. Then, move onto the second commandment. Again, write down every time you can remember violating this commandment. Then, move onto the third commandment, etc.
For me, I only got through halfway on the third commandment before I felt the weight of my sin crushing me. I emotionally and spiritually flung myself to the foot of the cross and begged for mercy. I had truly seen my sinfulness as exceedingly sinful and horrific. I continued to cry out for mercy. Though I grew up in a Christian home and had lived most of my life going to church and “being good,” doing those things were not going to save me from God’s wrath. Eventually, God answered my cry and gave me peace and did a work in me that day – the emotional and spiritual aspects and anguish of what I was going through felt very much like a birthing process – as if I was being born again through the Spirit.
Like Jacob, when he climbed the ladder to heaven and wrestled with God, he did not let go until God blessed him. I continued asking for mercy until God regenerated me. Not everyone will have an experience like that, but that was my experience.
The common phrase in America is “you need to accept Jesus into your heart.” Unfortunately, this is not true and such a practice cannot be found in Scripture anywhere. Neither can be found in Scripture of praying a sinner’s prayer where the pastor (or other religious leader) then tells the person he or she is now saved. Only the Holy Spirit can confirm such salvation assurance. Instead, we need His acceptance of us, we need His mercy, we need His grace. Even coming to the point of understanding this is a work of the grace of God.
If you have not been regenerated unto new life, I pray you would take time today – especially today – and look into the sinfulness and depravity of your sin. Dig deep and keep digging until you see your sinfulness in truth. When you see it clearly, fling yourself to the foot of the cross and keep begging for mercy and repentance until it is granted. Doing so takes dying to your will and accepting His will for your life – not easy and a seemingly large price to pay. But, in counting the cost, it is worth such a price thousands and thousands of times over. To have eternal life with Him is the most precious gift one could ever have and is worth any price.
If you have any questions about the above subject matter, we would be honored to talk with you. Please contact us and we will get back with you.
The Wonderful Cross
Take a few minutes today and listen through the below video of Chris Tomlin’s and Matt Redman’s song, The Wonderful Cross. Have tissues ready and think through what He went through to obey His Father – to pay the debt for our sin.
Have your repented and put your trust in Christ? Don’t miss the real meaning of Easter.