“The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.”
I used to be confused about why it’s called “Good Friday”. The day remembering the horrible event in history that seems anything but “good”! As I have come to understand more about Christianity and the tenets that Christ-followers believe, my vision is clearer as to why the day that the Lamb of God was crucified would be called “good”. The origins of the word “good” allude to “holy”. Some call this day “Holy Friday”. Certainly, it was a holy day. A day set aside that is unlike any other day in history. Holiness means “otherness”. Completely and perfectly unique and not lacking in anything. Completely complete! The holy, spotless Lamb became the perfect, once-for-all wholly-acceptable Sacrifice for our sin. Jesus, the blameless and innocent Lamb, for the good of mankind, endured death on the Cross for our ultimate good. Truly, He was the only One who could rescue us. He was good (in the truest sense of the word) and He gave Himself for you and for me and for anyone else in human history who would trust Him as the only One who could reconcile sinful man with Holy God.
God implores us to come to Him just as we are. We have no ability to clean up enough before we approach Him. Sin is in our DNA and in our behavior. God loves us with the deepest and strongest love possible, but He is Holy and Just. He could not allow us into Heaven without denying His Justice. He would have to change and become someone that He is not. Would I really want God to look the other way and allow sin into Heaven? I suppose I would (in my sinful mind) as long as it was my sin! But what if it was someone else’s? What if it was Hitler's or Stalin's or Dahmer's? Do I really think that God could compromise what is true? Is it true that "the wages of sin is death?" (Romans 6:23a) What if there was no justice? Would God still be holy? Would He still be love? Think about it. He could never forsake justice for the sake of love. It would no longer be love!
But He could love by coming to Earth as a human being, live a pure life without sin, and give Himself as the perfectly sufficient sacrifice to pay the penalty of our sin. This would be justice! This would be true and untarnished love! The Son willingly and lovingly made the way for “whosoever believes” to be cleansed, forgiven, reborn, and justified. God, the Father, can accept that perfect sacrifice of the blood of the Lamb as the justice that is demanded. The last part of Romans 6:23 is also true: "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!".
How do we know that the Holy Eternal One has accepted the sacrifice? Jesus rose from the dead! His resurrection proves God’s stamp of approval and acceptance. Our debt is “Paid in Full!” Oh, what a Savior!
Good Friday! God’s mercy was disguised on that terrible, ugly, painful, sorrowful day! His death dashed all hope! All seemed lost! And yet…
Sunday was coming! He has Risen! Hallelujah! And so shall we rise!