Today is Good Friday on the Christian Calendar. It is the day we remember the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus was taken before the Sanhedrin, the highest council of the ancient Jews, and condemned. They did not have the authority to pronounce a death sentence, so they had Jesus brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea. After Pilate questioned Jesus, he determined Jesus was innocent. Then he learned Jesus was a Galilean, under Herod’s jurisdiction. Herod was in Jerusalem, so Pilate had him taken to Herod. Jesus refused to answer Herod's questions, so Herod sent him back to Pilate. Although Pilate found him innocent, he feared the crowds who wanted Jesus crucified, so he sentenced Jesus to death.
Jesus suffered a brutal beating. The soldiers mocked Him and made a crown of thorns and beat it on His head with a staff. They spit on Him, cursed Him and stripped Him naked. When they were finished, they made Him carry His cross up the hill to Calvary. Giant stakes were driven into His wrists and feet to attach Him on the cross. The cross was lifted up so the crowd could see, and onlookers shouted and jeered. Jesus hung in agony for probably about six hours before He cried, “It is finished.”
Good Friday was a sacred day for my late husband. Every year he would take the day off work, if possible, and I knew he would either stay in bed to pray or he would retreat to a quiet place to be alone and pray. I knew he would fast until God gave him a release, and it wouldn’t be before 3pm. Nearly every year, it seems like it turns dark and rains between noon and 3pm. That was about the hour Jesus declared, “It is finished.” The sky turned black. The curtain in the Jewish Temple ripped in two from top to bottom. An earthquake shook the ground and thunder crashed and lightening streaked across the sky.
This is a solemn day to reflect on the enormous price Jesus paid for each and every one of us. He was innocent. He NEVER sinned. He chose to give up His life our sakes. We are born cursed with sin.
When Adam sinned, the entire world was affected. Sin entered human experience, and death was the result. And so death followed this sin, casting its shadow over all humanity, because all have sinned.Romans 5: 12
And His fullness fills you, even though you were once like corpses, dead in your sins and offenses. It wasn’t that long ago you lived in the religion, customs, and values of this world, obeying the dark ruler of the earthly realm who fills the atmosphere with his authority, and works diligently in the hearts of those who are disobedient to the truth of God. The corruption that was in us from birth was expressed through the deeds and desires of our self-life. We lived by whatever natural cravings and thoughts our minds dictated, living as rebellious children subject to God’s wrath like everyone else. Ephesians 2: 1-3
God made a way out of sin for us before He ever created the world. We can’t even fathom the deep abiding love God has for each and every one of us. He sacrificed His own Son to be the offering to pay the price for our sin. He offers us forgiveness and redemption of our sin as a free gift.
But God still loved us with such great love. He is so rich in compassion and mercy. Even when we were dead and doomed in our many sins, He united us into the very life of Christ and saved us by His wonderful grace! Ephesians 2: 4-5
God’s marvelous grace manifested in person, bringing salvation for everyone. This same grace teaches me how to live each day as I turn my back on ungodliness and indulgent lifestyles, and it equips me to live a self-controlled, upright, godly life in this present age. I continue to wait for the fulfillment of my hope in the dawning splendor of the glory of my great God and Savior, Jesus, the Anointed One. He sacrificed Himself for me that He might purchase my freedom from every lawless deed and to purify for Himself a people who are His very own, passionate to do what is beautiful in His eyes. Titus 2: 11-14
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of deep sorrows who was no stranger to suffering and grief. We hid our faces from Him in disgust and considered Him a nobody, not worthy of respect. Yet He was the one who carried our sicknesses and endured the torment of our sufferings. We viewed Him as one who was being punished for something He Himself had done, as one who was struck down by God and brought low. But it was because of our rebellious deeds He was pierced and because of our sins He was crushed. He endured the punishment that made us completely whole, and in His wounding we found our healing.Like wayward sheep, we all wandered astray. Each of us turned from God’s paths and chose our own way; even so, Yahweh laid the guilt of our every sin upon Him. Isaiah 53: 3-6
I am blood bought and this blood of Jesus is my enforcer of my covenant relationship with Almighty God.
Father, thank You for Your love that reaches depths we cannot even fathom. Your beloved Son was the sacrifice You offered to forever free us from sin and its consequences. Love hung on the cross and gave up everything to rescue us.
All You ask of us in return is to acknowledge and confess our sin and ask You to forgive us. Then we simply receive Your gift of life made possible through Jesus who conquered death, overcoming sin and its evil hold on us. You are amazing, Lord. Thank You for all You did, all You are, and all You do for us. As we reflect on Your love and compassion, we praise You and submit ourselves to You to Your glory and honor. Amen.
If you haven’t already given your heart and life to Christ, I invite you to choose today to be washed by the blood, covered by the blood, saved by the blood, and healed by the blood. Make the most important decision of your life by praying this prayer right now.