What can be so good about Good Friday this year? We’ve canceled spring break plans. Easter dinner plans have changed. Egg hunts are canceled. Church doors are shut. In fact, the world has closed down. Sickness and death seem to be ever before us. So, what is so good?
But I want to remind you that Good Friday has always been about sickness and death.
The first Good Friday two thousand years ago seemed even bleaker for Christ-followers. They had become quite comfortable following this Man, Jesus. Life may not have been easy, but they were seeing miracles performed and believed that their Savior, the King of kings, had finally come. And He had. But things were about to take a turn that none of them expected, even though He warned them about it time and time again.
Just a few days before, the disciples had witnessed Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt. The people rushed to see their King, proclaiming “Hosanna!” as they waved palm branches and shouted with joy. How could things go so wrong in just a few short days? How could this Friday be considered good?
One of their own had betrayed their Master, and the enemy was about to have his heyday. The rulers wouldn’t take a stand or make a firm decision in the matter, even though they knew it was wrong. They caved to the people, who cried, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
And so this gentle, perfect Savior was beaten, humiliated, torn apart, spat upon, despised, and rejected because of me. And because of you. And because of those people who had just cried, “Hosanna!” And not only was He rejected by the people whom He had loved and served so well, but His Father also turned His back on Him.
Two thousand years ago, the world came to a complete stop because the Savior of the world was taking on the sin of all humanity. Not just for the people of His time but also for the people who would come after, who would feel desolation from an unknown virus named Covid-19. He took it all on Him because He loves you. And me. Despite who we might be.
God didn’t turn His back on His Son because He no longer loved Him. He couldn’t bear the sight of all that sin on the only One Who could sacrifice His life in our place. For three hours–from noon until 3 p.m.–darkness covered the world–because even the sun knew that it could no longer shine without the Light of the world shining for us.
And so, it was finished. He died. And His followers sneaked away into hiding, afraid of what would happen to them now, questioning what they had believed. What could be so good about Good Friday?
For thousands of years, a sickness had taken over the Earth. It was a virus unlike any other that crept into the hearts of every man, woman, and child. It spread like a wildfire, killing millions of people, destroying families, and crushing spirits. And there was no known cure.
Until Good Friday.
You see, we celebrate Good Friday because that’s the day a cure was found. That’s the day humanity was saved. That’s the day when the worst sickness of all–sin–was eradicated from the hearts of mankind. Death no longer has the victory over us because Christ was the Cure we needed all along!
I know these are scary times we are living in. The media is telling us one thing; our government is telling us another thing. Mass hysteria is taking over. People are showing their greed. And, yes, people are getting sick and dying.
But, Friend, people have always been getting sick and dying. COVID-19 is not the virus we need to be afraid of. We should fear the consequences of never accepting the Cure for the sickness of sin. That’s the sickness that has more serious and lasting consequences than even death–an eternity in Hell. But there’s a Cure if you will just ask for it! If you will just go to the Great Physician, you need not be sick from this disease anymore!
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.–Rom. 6:23
We are stuck at home right now and being forced to take a good look at ourselves. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly like spending a lot of time with me! But this is a time we are being given the gift of seeing ourselves as we are–sick with a virus that has only one Cure–Christ Jesus.
Good Friday wasn’t good at the moment it happened. The sin of the whole world was pulled together into one place–the cross at Calvary. The earth shook; darkness reigned; and the people were afraid. And maybe this Good Friday isn’t feeling particularly good to you right now either.
But Sunday’s coming. And on Sunday, you’re going to see why this Friday was good.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.–I Cor. 13:12
To read more about Good Friday, see Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19. And please feel free to message me if you want to know more about the Cure.