“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 – NIV).”
Today much of the Christian world will mark “Good Friday,” as the culmination of the events of the “Holy Week,” in what is the ultimate “darkest before the dawn” scenario.
Jesus had arrived in Jerusalem to a triumphal welcome only five days earlier. There were those present who were welcoming Messiah, others an expectant king, others a military leader who would break the chains of Rome, and yet others still to see a great teacher and healer. What they got was a man, mounted on a humble donkey, who once He had arrived, disappears into the multitude. After the hype, there was “nothing to see here.”
He then, over the next few days, aggravated or alienated merchants, money-changers, lawyers, scribes, Pharisees, and priests. By Thursday, He settled into the last meal with only a handful of followers, and one of these was destined to betray Him, and yet another to deny Him.
The garden torments of Gethsemane, and arrest, a sham trial, and beatings were to follow, until He came to face Pilate. He was scourged, mocked, beaten, and ultimately crucified. His followers had fled, He died in the presence of His mother, a few of the women, and only the “beloved disciple” at His side.
Crucified, died, and buried = Game Over. No! It was merely an interlude. The plan established at creation had come to pass. The prophecies had been fulfilled. The “Good” of Good Friday had been accomplished, as sin was washed in His blood. In the words of the Seventeenth Century theologian, John Owen, it was “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.”
The death of death! That is good news, on this Good Friday.
AND THE GOOD NEWS CONTINUES ON SUNDAY!