Good Friday 2019

Why Good Friday?

“One brutal, gruesome death will leave upon the canvas of human history the darkest brushstroke.”

It was the single most horrible day in the history of the world.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.  Yet it was the will (the pleasure) of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief ...”          

                                                                                    Isaiah 53:5,10

No incident has ever been more tragic, and no future event will ever match it.  No surprise attack, no assassination, no financial devastation, no military invasion, no nuclear attack, no chemical warfare, no act of terrorism, no large scale disease, not even slave trading, sex trafficking, ethnic cleansing, or any length of religious warring can eclipse the darkness of that day. 

No suffering has ever been so unfitting.  No human has ever been so unjustly treated, because no other human has ever been so worthy of honor and praise.  No one else has ever lived without sin.  No other human has been God himself.  No horror surpasses what transpired on a hill outside of Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago.

And yet we call it “Good” Friday.

It was a day that man meant for evil.  Who exactly meant it for evil?  Judas, one of those who walked with him, meant it for evil, and while he was not the first to plot against Jesus, he was the first to deliver him over.  The Jewish leaders meant it for evil as they watched their authority and privilege and influence start to erode.  Pilate meant it for evil, albeit in a passive, reactive response to the pressure of the crowd and the leaders, by joining in the wickedness.  The crowd of people meant it for evil by being incited by the officials, the fervor of the moment, and rally cry calling for the release of a guilty man in the place of an innocent man.  We meant it for evil, in that our sinfulness delivered him over.  “Christ died for our sins” (I Corinthians 15:3).  Jesus was “delivered up for our trespasses” (Romans 4:25).  He “gave himself for our sins” (Galatians 1:4).  “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24).

“No greater love, humility, or obedience has ever or will ever be displayed.”

God was at work, doing his greatest good in our most horrible evil.  Above and beneath, in front and behind the spiraling evil, God’s steady hand was ever working for our final and best good.  If this day bore the fingerprints of sinners and evil, then this day definitely bore the sovereign hand of God for good.   “…what man meant for evil, God meant for good” (Genesis 50:20).  How can we know and be confident that God meant it for good?  God himself “did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not with him graciously give us all things” for our eternal good (Romans 8:32)!

God stamped “Good” on the single worst day in the history of the world.  And there is not one day, not one trauma, not one loss, not one pain (momentary or chronic) over which God cannot write “Good” for you in Jesus.

While Satan and sinful man meant that Friday for evil, God meant it for good, and so we call it and remember it as Good Friday. 

“It is finished.”  John 19:30

 

Questions: What is sin? Give an example from the video. Why does it matter?

 

Questions: Evil is present in the world, how should God have responded to rid the world of evil? How did He respond?

Isaiah 53 

 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Response Time:

What are you thinking and what are you feeling as a response to the video and scripture?