Read Matthew 26-27 slowly.
“What is good about Good Friday?” is an easy question to ponder after reading Matthew 26 and 27. Betrayal, denial, injustice, political pandering, beatings, mockery, and a slow cruel death end Jesus’ last few days of life.
What is good about Good Friday? Nothing, unless all the bad accomplished something really good. This truth about Good Friday reminds me of my conclusions about the awfulness of war. When I was a child I romanticized war and pretended to battle whichever imaginary enemy was expedient. But when I grew up and read about war, watched realistic movies, and occasionally spoke with those who had actually experienced war, the romance ended. What thinking person could like war with its innocent victims, indiscriminate death, suffering and devastation? Surely, no spiritually, emotionally healthy human! But then I think about World War 2 and how evil were the intentions of Adolf Hilter and the Third Reich, I am grateful for the sacrifices made by so many people to stop them.
We have been reminded in our study of Acts that Jesus’ death (even death on a cross) is central to God’s work. Without the cross there would be no forgiveness of sin, no freedom from the power of sin, no resurrection, and ultimately no hope. God’s goodness to the world came through all the “bad” of Jesus’ death. Jesus’ self-sacrifice accomplished fulfillment of the law, imputed righteousness, reconciliation, forgiveness, unmerited favor, spiritual freedom and ultimate healing for all who believe. Jesus’ death on a cross began a human soul revolution that is as powerful today as it was when the centurion said, “Truly, this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54)
Questions to Contemplate
As we prepare to gather this evening as a body let us prayerfully ponder the following…
- Are our lives truly good because of Jesus’ death – “even death on a cross”?
- What was Jesus’ reward (and our good) for his obedience to death on a cross? (Philippians 2:8-11)