Why is Good Friday good?

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Why is Good Friday good?

16 April 2014 Hits:21201

“Jesus had to die because the Prime Minister didn’t like him. He didn’t like him because everybody liked Jesus and nobody liked the Prime Minister. At Easter, we have eggs because chickens are born at Easter time” (Bella, 7).

“We have chocolate eggs to celebrate Easter because the tomb was empty and most eggs are hollow, except when they have chocolate buttons in them” (Piers, 8).

“Jesus died because of God’s love and at Easter time we have eggs because they are a sign of new life. They’re made of chocolate because chocolate is really nice and Jesus was a really kind person” (Molly, 8).

What did happen on Good Friday?  And why did Jesus have to die? If Jesus died on this day then why is it called GOOD?

It’s important to know that it was, in fact, religion that killed Jesus.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were jealous of the support and following that Jesus had and so they plotted a way to get rid of him – and they succeeded (for three days!)  Not much has changed; religion is still trying to kill Jesus today.  In fact, some religious institutions kill Jesus every week – some kill him every year.

This is highlighted in a response to a blog I wrote over a year ago.  Speaking of Good Friday the person wrote:“This is the day of the year that I wish would end quickly for it is a day of mourning and grief. Every minute of this day I am constantly thinking about His suffering. We call this day good only because of ourselves. We are to die with Him on this day … on this day of remembrance, mourning, and grief, are we not going to remember, mourn, and grieve? Sadly, for most people they will not remember, they will not mourn, and they will not grieve … on this day of sadness, I hope the Lord keeps me a little more subdued and a little more humble. For Christ died on this day of darkness and I am grieving a bit now…”

But what does the Bible say about Jesus sacrifice?
Hebrews 7:27, “Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”

Hebrews 9:26, “Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

Hebrews 9:28, “so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Hebrews 10:10, “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Get the message?

Jesus doesn’t need to die again every week or every year.  His death on the cross two thousand years ago was enough.  On the cross, Jesus took the punishment that belonged to us.  We are the ones who have broken God’s Law.  We deserved to be punished.  But in his love and mercy, Jesus bore our punishment for us. The sacrifice he made was enough and to prove that is was, three days later God raised Jesus from the dead – and he didn’t die again.  That’s why Good Friday is GOOD!

My prayer for you this Easter is that you will come to know, appreciate and experience the power and value of the sacrifice Jesus has made for you on the cross.

Some years ago, a 14-foot bronze crucifix was stolen from Calvary Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas. It had stood at the entrance to that cemetery for more than 50 years. The cross was put there in 1930 by a Catholic bishop and had been valued at the time at $10,000. The thieves apparently cut it off at its base and hauled it off in a pick-up. Police speculate that they cut it into small pieces and sold it for scrap for about $450.  They obviously didn’t realize the value of that cross.  May we not be so blind!

 

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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3 replies on “Why is Good Friday good?”

Michael Gilmoursays:

Great blog Ps. Rob.\nWe took our kids through the passover last night and highlighted to them that it was actually a celebration of freedom. The Jews knew that after that night in Egypt that they would be released from slavery. What better way to celebrate then have a lamb BBQ :-)\nYes, Jesus has taken the place of the lamb and we should remember this and be grateful but I would imagine that he would like us to be grateful with a smile on our face rather than as if it was a wake. Jesus is alive and because of him so are we!\nHow good is that!\nSo we had a great dinner with the kids, read the old and new testament account of the passover and had a great celebration. It was a fun time.\nCheers and keep up the great work you\’re doing.

hound dogsays:

Hi Rob. \nEaster tradition is always a time that I have struggled with in concept. My understanding is that in Pagan times the then ruler forcefully changed the sabbath to sunday as the pagans worshipped the sun god. Christians of the time celebrated the sabbath on the saturday. This move forced christians to worship on the sunday or suffer the consequences. \nIf this is factual then that makes the time of Jesus\’s death the wednesday afternoon since he rose on the sabbath. (true sabbath being saturday). Christians following this line would not work etc on the saturday so would need to prepare food etc on the friday. The Friday became a preparation day. Supposedly at the time of Jesus\’s death the Thursday coincidentaly was another Christian celebration. (I forget the name of it) Due to ritual days at that time meant that no one had access to the tomb until the Sunday which was when it was discovered that he had been resurected. This holds weight as he would have been resurected on the Saturday afternoon before nightfall being the sabbath. (ie friday nightfall to saturday nightfall) \nMy understanding of pagan easter is to worship and celebrate the goddess esther. The goddess of sex and fertility. (hence the eggs symoblising fertility).\nI have always been troubled by this as it means we as christians are being deceived to act contrary to Christian belief. I struggle with the fact that we are possibly teaching our kids the wrong thing (possibly deceiving them as well).\nThe Jews celebrate the sabbath on the Saturday. If this is correct as well the 10 commandments state to keep the sabbath. (We are failing here if this is correct).\nTransgression of one commandment is transgression of all? \nChristmas is another Pagan tradition that has krept into christian culture and faith. The bible mentions Paganism in several places and the impression I get from the bible is that God/Jesus abhored paganism.\n\nI would love to hear your thoughts on these issues.\nI realise that in those times the leaders forcefully changed celebrations etc as a form of control however the bible says that the truth will always be accessible.\nThanks for your great post and may god bless all.

Rob Buckinghamsays:

Hi Hound dog :-)\n\nThanks for your comments. I\’m not sure that you\’re correct about the church being forced to worship on a Sunday instead of a Saturday. The Jewish believers at least would have used a very different calendar to the one we use today based on a lunar – not solar – year. Because of that there was no such thing as Saturday and Sunday. The lunar calendar of 360 days meant that the Sabbath day actually shifted each year. The first century Christians met for the breaking of bread on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). But the New Testament makes it clear that the day of worship is not important unless it is important to the worshipper – Rom 14:5, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” It’s also important that Christians don’t judge each other over the day or days they choose to gather – Col 2:16-17, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.”\n\nI would use the same reasoning in regards to the timing of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus died on Passover – whatever day that happened to be that year – and rose again on the first day of the week (Mark 16:9). Again, we have no way of knowing actually what day that is. You are correct that Christmas and Easter were set at a time when there were pagan festivals. That may well have been for convenience for the church – that is, the rest of society had a holiday at that time so it was probably easier for Christians to get time off work etc. I could be wrong on that though. Eggs and Bunnies were adopted as signs of New Life that was available because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

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