Today Christians remember when Jesus was crucified. Though we call it Good Friday, it was certainly not a good day for Jesus.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. Matthew 27:27-31
Though Jesus endured such agony on Good Friday, amazingly His horrendous death on the cross accomplished so much good for those who believe. I can’t get over how God can take the most horrible, sinful act and make something beautiful out of it. He definitely did that with the cross.
As I began thinking about the good things that come from Jesus death, it was hard to narrow it down to just a few things for this post. In fact, I was reminded of John Piper’s book, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. Brent and I actually gave copies of it away as wedding favors when we got married. If you click on the image of the book, you can download it for free as a PDF. Thank you, Desiring God Ministries.
For me, the cross is everything. It is the heart of the gospel. If Jesus had not died on the cross and been raised back to life 3 days later, there would be no Christianity. So, why is it so important & what good things came from it? Here are some of the sweetest truths that make Good Friday good for me.
1. The Most Beautiful Exchange Ever
I am a sinner. Jesus never sinned. But amazingly, on the cross Jesus willingly took the punishment for my sin (death), and gave me His perfect record.
He got my sin, the just wrath of God, while I get perfect righteousness, a clean record as if I had never sinned.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. 5:21
This is what happened on the cross. This is why Jesus went to the cross – to save us from receiving the just punishment for our sin. He took it for us because He loves us & wants us to be reconciled to God. Now I can be made right with a holy God because He sees me as if I had never sinned.
My mind is blown every time I think of this love. This was so not fair for Jesus, but so amazingly good for those who believe.
2. The Only Way to Connect with God
Since God is so perfect, He cannot overlook sin. He cannot approve of sin or just pretend it never happened. It is a big deal to Him because He is so holy.
Because of this, our sin keeps us far away from God. Yet, He wants us to be near. Do you see the problem? God created us and has a heart for us, yet we are far away from Him because of our sin.
On the cross, Jesus took our sin from us by placing it on Himself. Our sin is removed on the cross. We can now come close to God because we are made righteous through Jesus.
First Peter 3:18 puts it like this:
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
We can finally connect with the God of the universe, the one who made us, who wants to have a relationship with us. This is only possible because of Jesus’ death on the cross.
3. Guilt is Gone
What a sigh of relief… That weight of guilt is gone. Does your sin ever weigh you down? Goodness, mine has and occasionally still does.
Some people try to persuade us to not let ourselves feel guilt for certain things, but if you are feeling guilt over your sin, that is a real thing that cannot just be coaxed away by nice thoughts. The fact is, if you have sinned, you are actually guilty. That’s why you feel guilt.
But that’s the beauty of the cross. When Jesus took our sin, He took our guilt with Him. We are no longer guilty before God because it has been taken away.
Psalm 32 is one of my favorites. Here are verses 1-5:
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Hallelujah! What a Savior! Good Friday accomplishes so much good for those who believe. I pray that somewhere in the midst of all this technical language, you will see a little more clearly why Jesus went to cross & that it will make a real difference in your life. It has made all the difference in mine. Thank you, Jesus!