19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. — Hebrews 9:19-22
A young Galilean man praying in the cool of the evening in a garden with his closest friends and followers falling asleep all around him… an approaching group of government officials and religious leaders… a kiss of betrayal… the flash of a sword and falling of an ear… the fleeing of the ‘faithful’ followers… hours of mockery… trumped up charges and trials… thorns, whips, and fists pounding his flesh… being smacked, laughed at, and spit upon… a long guarded journey with a huge weight upon his shoulders… three long sharp spikes piercing his wrists and feet as they are driven deep into the wood of an ugly cross… hanging upon a cross on a hill to be shamed and mocked for all to see… and THIS is the day that we refer to as Good Friday.
What then is so ‘good’ about Good Friday? Well, in a world where immediate satisfaction, gratification, and results are sought we may find ourselves tempted to want to skip forward to the Resurrection Sunday that is just a couple days away. However, we must guard ourselves not to gloss over this Good Friday. While our hope of eternal presence with God comes from the work of the Resurrection, we can not get there without the work of Jesus Christ on that special Good Friday so many years ago.
It was on this day, ~2000 years ago, that a sacrifice was made… the shedding of an innocent man’s blood for the forgiveness of our sins!! If our sins are not forgiven, then Resurrection Sunday holds no hope for us; for we would still be bound by these sins. However, on this day so many years ago, Jesus made a sacrifice for you and for me by the shedding of His own perfect and precious blood that we can stand forgiven in the presence of God. Good Friday is the day in which Jesus effectively, with His own blood, took us from bad to good in the eyes of God Almighty!
I believe we must solemnly recognize the sacrifice, and start our Good Friday off with solemn reflection of the pain, torture, and sacrifice Jesus endured for us on that day. Let us not gloss over what pain and sacrifice were made on our behalf. However, as the day progresses, I believe we need to be moved to a state of hope and celebration. The torture and torment were bad but the sacrifice given was good! Let us not go through today without thanking God for the work of His Son, Jesus Christ, on that cross that has taken us from bad to good… WE ARE FORGIVEN!! Not because of who we are or what we have done, but because of who HE is and what HE has done!! It is good news for the world, that if we accept and receive Jesus we are forgiven!!