Good Friday, the day the sinless savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, died as our substitute so that we might find atonement—the forgiveness of sins. The day itself was not good, nor was it good that Christ had to suffer and die on a cross. What makes Good Friday good is that God in Christ purchased our salvation. That is infinitely good!
On the cross, God judged the sins of all humanity, past, present, and future. Yes, even future sin. In fact, when Christ died on the cross, all of our sins were still in the future. He paid the penalty for our sins even before we committed the them.
God set up a system of animal sacrifices in the Old Testament to provide a way of dealing with sin. Despite all the sacrifices and attempts to handle sins, they were all insufficient. John the Baptist made it clear that sin could be forgiven only in Christ. “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29, ESV).
The perfect Christ was the only qualified sacrifice to bring full and lasting forgiveness for sin. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV). Jesus became our substitute on the cross, bearing our sins’ guilt, shame, and penalty to set us free.
On the cross, Jesus defeated Satan. Jesus announced before the day of his crucifixion, “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31, ESV). How many times do you hear the condemning voice of Satan in your ears? If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, those are just empty words—lies that the devil hopes you will believe. “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:13-15, ESV). Do you get it? Though Satan tries to bring up your past sins, in Christ, your entire debt was paid on Good Friday. Jesus dying on the cross settled everything, and Satan has no charges to bring against you anymore!
Knowing what Christ did on that first Good Friday should move all believers to great devotion to our savior. May we sing today the heartfelt words of Isaac Watts’ hymn.
Alas! and did my Saviour bleed, And did my Sovereign die! Would he devote that sacred head For such a worm as I!
Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree! Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide, And shut his glories in, When Christ, the mighty Maker, died For man the creature’s sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face While his dear cross appears; Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, And melt mine eyes in tears.
But drops of grief can ne'er repay The debt of love I owe; Here, Lord, I give myself away, 'Tis all that I can do.
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Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents. He met his wife Cheryl while working at Good’s Greenhouse in Bowmansville, PA. He has three adult children and values watching them grow into the people God wants them to be.