When I was young, the name of this day used to strike me as odd. The betrayal, the loneliness, ridicule, beatings, and crucifixion Jesus Christ underwent didn’t seem very good. The day, to me, was sad, grievous, remorseful, and dark… anything but good. But, as I grew up, and my understanding of God’s love grew, I came to realize that the day is/was truly good….for me.
The Cross was good (beneficial) to me, us, because, through Jesus’ death, we are reconciled to God!
“..God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation….He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 19, 21
“The Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:1o-11
As Horatius Bonar wrote (1870),
“‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,’ is no mere outcry of suffering nature, the cross is no mere scene of human martyrdom, and the great sepulcher is no mere Hebrew tomb. It is only through blood-shedding that conscience is purged; it is only at the cross that the sinner can meet with God; it is the cross that knits heaven and earth together…”
The Cross is good because Jesus paid my unimaginable debt!
“He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13
“He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our peace fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” Isaiah 53:5-6
There’s no possible way share, here, all the Scriptures, authors, or reasons why Jesus’ death may be considered ‘good,” but one final thought is,
The Cross is good because it’s not the End!
As a stirring sermon and book by Tony Campolo once put it, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s comin’!” Death defeated death, the Cross led to the resurrection, and Jesus paved the way for everyone who believes in Him, to have Eternal Life.
“…if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, and your faith also is vain… But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive!” 1 Corinthians 15:14, 20-22
“I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hell.” Revelation 1:18
Today, with this curious good-ness of Good Friday in mind, I chose a more recent song, a powerful proclamation of the “goodness” of the cross by singer/writer Matt Redman, from his CD “The Heart of Worship” (which you can hear on my blue Music Box to the right):
For the Cross
I will love you for the cross,and I will love You for the cost
Man of sufferings, bringer of my peace.
You came into a world of shame
and paid the price we could not pay.
Death that brought me life
Blood that brought me home
Death that brought me life
Blood that brought me home.
And I love You for the Cross
I’m overwhelmed by the mystery
I love you for the cross
That Jesus You would do this for me
When you were broken
You were beaten
You were punished, I go free
When You were wounded and rejected
In Your mercy, I am healed!
Jesus Christ, the sinner’s Friend
Does this kindness know no bounds?
With Your precious blood You have purchased me
O, the mystery of the Cross
You were punished, You were crushed
But that punishment has become my peace
Yes, that punishment has become my peace!