Devotional

Good Friday

“From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” )…. And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split… When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!””
‭‭{Matthew‬ ‭27:45-46, 50-51, 54‬ ‭NIV‬‬}
•••
If Jesus were not the Son of God, Good Friday would not be good. It would be a day when an innocent man suffered and died in a way fit for the guiltiest of criminals. It would be a day when the hope of those following Jesus had died, because the One they believed would save them no longer could. But when we come to the same realization as the centurion we can see the goodness of this day. Because Jesus is the Son of God, His blood is perfect and able to justify completely, giving purpose to His sacrifice: “having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” {‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬} Because of Jesus our sins have been forgiven and we have hope.
•••
Jesus had spoken about true love before this day, saying that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends {John 15:13}, but without seeing it in action it’s hard to understand the vastness of what love offers and what love is. His death on the cross showed us the depth of His love. This day is good because it is the most beautiful display of love the world has ever seen. Not only did Jesus give His life, He gave His life for us. He endured pain and shame so that we could be reunited with the presence of God forever. He was selfless when we were selfish, and He was faithful when we were not. Because of His love we are forgiven and free. When we have faith in His love we are justified and righteous in the presence of God.
•••
“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
{‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:25-26‬ ‭NIV‬‬}
•••
{HPZ 4.02.2021}

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