For those of you that don't know, today is what is called Good Friday. Today marks the day of the death of Christ, our Lord and Savior. The Friday before Easter. It seems like an oxymoron, doesn't it? "Your Savior died and you commemorate it as a good day?" Yes. And here's why:
My sweet sisters. Today, I am writing to you with an aching heart and through eyes full of tears. Sometimes it's tough to see the "good" in Good Friday, isn't it? When we read through the different accounts of Jesus' death--from betrayal to the tomb--and allow our hearts to really walk through the depth of each word, it's easy to soak in sorrow. I can't imagine what the people who lived in that time must have felt. They had no idea that Jesus was to resurrect and for all they knew, their Savior was dead. What a gruesome few days.
Today my words will be short because I want His words to fill your heart.
As you read through these two chapters in John, instead of trying to let them read you, allow your heart to really experience it and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you through the narrative. I've only asked you to read through John 18 & 19, but if you'd like to, you can read each of the other gospel accounts, too (Matthew , Mark, Luke).
It's tough, right? A man that so loved His people to bear such a gruesome death on a cross, was sentenced by those He so loved. We can imagine our Lord, hanging there by four wounds, His own body crushing His lungs until he finally gave up His Spirit. Unfortunately, that wasn't the worst of it. We need to understand that during those hours of darkness, Jesus was drinking the full cup of God's judgement and wrath. The sin of the world was being swallowed up by Jesus.
Our sins are what hoisted Him up there, and so easily, I am overwhelmed with sorrow at just that.
"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. We have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." -Isaiah 53: 5&6
But, it's important to realize that every step, every act, every movement that Jesus made was a fulfillment of what the Old Testament had already anticipated. Did you know that there are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled in His time on earth? John MacArthur argues that that doesn't just happen by chance, and I would agree. God was orchestrating the days of Jesus' road to our redemption long before He ever came to Earth. So, "in a situation where God seems to be completely absent, He has been present for ages" (Meyers, SheReadsTruth). And we should rejoice.
God's glory is able to shine through on this dark day because He has showcased the power of His sovereign hand in fulfilling His will and redeeming His people by whatever means necessary, even to the point of a criminal's death.
"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." -Isaiah 53:11