why do they call it good friday?
If we count the beginning of Friday in Jewish style, GOOD Friday, began at sunset of what we call Thursday and ran until sunset the next day. During that 24 hours, the Son of God was betrayed by one of His closest followers, illegally tried, and physically abused in two councils of Jewish priests and elders, falsely accused of treason before a Roman governor, found innocent of the charge but nonetheless flogged (nearly to the point of death) to try to placate the leaders of the Jews, mercilessly nailed through wrists and feet to a rough-hewn cross, and left to hang there for six hours, struggling for every breath, until at last, He died.
How can that be called GOOD?
But both words and the concepts they describe do change over the centuries. Many hundreds of years ago, the word translated GOOD meant HOLY in what the world calls the Romance Languages. When they called this day GOOD FRIDAY, they were labeling it HOLY Friday, and indeed, it was.
HOLY Friday was the day appointed before time began in the council of the Trinity.
HOLY Friday was the reason the Son of God departed Heaven.
HOLY Friday was the reason our Lord was born of a virgin.
HOLY Friday was why the angel said to call His name Jesus.
HOLY Friday was why Simeon and Anna rejoiced when they saw the baby.
HOLY Friday was why Satan stirred Herod to try to kill Jesus as a toddler.
HOLY Friday was why John the Baptist called Him the Lamb of God.
HOLY Friday was what Jesus foretold when He said the Son of Man must be lifted up.
HOLY Friday was what Christ was thinking about when He said, “For God so loved …”
HOLY Friday was the culmination of all Jesus said and did.
HOLY Friday is the only thing that makes holiness possible in our world today.
For on HOLY Friday, God the Father gathered the sin of the world across time and placed that sin upon His One and Only Son. On HOLY Friday, Jesus suffered and ultimately died, paying the penalty for the sins of each and every one of us.
I am taking time today to think about the sins across the years of my life. I know they are forgiven. I know the Lord remembers them no more. But I want to remember, briefly, so that I can remember what it took for them to be forgiven and removed from my account.
So I am going to think some about the sins of my childhood, many before I even trusted the Lord, and others after. I am going to recall the ways I strayed during my teen years, and especially my waywardness in college. I plan to recall the iniquities during the young adult time of life, the sins of selfishness through the median adult years. I plan to think about the temptations that beckon me even as a senior adult. Whew, so many years, each accumulating a multitude of sins, far more than I will ever be able to remember.
But I want to consider this all I can to help me to more deeply and genuinely thank Jesus for what He did for me on that HOLY day nearly two thousand years ago. The shedding of His blood was required to wipe my slate clean, to wash away my sin.
Oh precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Hebrews 9:22 NKJV And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Hebrews 9:11–14 NKJV 11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Join me for worship tonight at 7 p.m. on the St. Andrew Baptist Church Facebook page or at sabc.org.
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