Today we remember the death of Jesus of Nazareth. If this were a mere historical fact, then we could call it Tragic Friday, Bad Friday, Injustice Friday, Evil Friday. But it’s not; it’s Good Friday.
The Old Testament book of Isaiah prophesies in chapter 53, the famous suffering servant passage, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; … he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed” (v 4-5)
And also, in verse 12, “… he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
While Jesus was hanging on the cross suffering humiliation and excruciating agony, he cried out “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
What does this mean? Is there any greater sin than murdering the incarnate God, the God who created and sustains life? There is no sin too big for God. There is no sin that can overcome his mercy. No sin that cannot be conquered by his love! Jesus, the eternal son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, enters into death – the wages of sin (Rom 6:23) – to bring about a new and eternal life.
Christ defeats sin from the inside out and offers us his mercy. Love, lifted up on the cross, personified in Jesus, is victorious. This is love. To humble yourself for the other. What greater act of humility is there than the God of the universe offering his life for us? What will we do in response? Will we accept his mercy and live it out?
This is not an ordinary Friday. Yes, evil was done on this day, and is done each time we choose our selfish desires over love, but good wins out for it is eternal. Will we live out this goodness in our lives to lift it up for the world to see?
Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world. Come let us adore!