Good Friday is the day Jesus entered into our pain.
It’s the day that demonstrates you are not alone in your suffering.
For Jesus carried our pain as well as our sins on Calvary.
Have y0u felt rejected?
Jesus “came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” (John 1:11).
Imagine, the one who had walked the streets of Israel performing miracles, and preaching like no one else could.
Now the same crowds that had yelled ‘hosanna to the son of David!‘ later yelled ‘crucify him!‘
And yet once they had their way, as Jesus hung on the cross, with eyes of love, silence reigned
Jesus really was despised and rejected.
On the Cross he was a man of sorrows, and became intimately acquainted with the grief of the whole world.
No wonder Jesus was described as ”crushed’.
Do you ever feel the pain of others? Do you ever wonder how do they cope?
Nobody has ever been more depressed than Jesus was on the cross.
The most amazing thing of all is that Jesus went through all that for you and me.
As the Apostle Paul puts it, “The Son of God loved me and gave himself up for me!” (Gal 2:20).
Jesus took the punishment due to us.
He experienced the hell of separation from God, so we don’t have to.
Jesus did all this so we could be healed, forgiven, blessed with undeserved mercy, and enter into heaven forever.
If we don’t see Friday through the eyes of Sunday, we risk being caught up in our suffering only.
Some Christians never really see beyond the Cross.
They accept that God is really with them in their pain, but not that he wants to deliver us from our pain.
They believe that God has forgiven their sins, not that he wants to change us so that we sin less and less.
If we are only Good Friday Christians, we miss the celebration that can be ours because of the resurrection.
Because the resurrection was coming, even the Cross itself was a great victory!
As we commemorate Good Friday, the only reason we can call it ‘Good’ is that it opened the way for Jesus to rise again, and defeat sin, sickness, and death!
Easter Sunday is the day Jesus banished death and suffering
The Resurrection is a glorious announcement of the victory of Jesus.
The resurrection of Jesus tells us that we too can know resurrection victory!
Because Jesus is alive we can be justified.
I have written more about this in an article on Romans 4:25.
And yet so often, even Christians feel like failures.
Many young people leave church because they feel they cant live the Christian life.
In a sense they are correct.
You can’t truly live for Jesus in your own strength any more than a corpse can get up and walk.
Because Jesus has life-giving power, we can be born again.
Because Jesus rose again he can now be raised from the deadness of our sin (Ephesians 2).
Because Jesus is alive, and here with us right now, we can have a relationship with Him.
The good news is, no matter what you have done, or how often you have fallen, Jesus wants you back.
And if you are a Christian today, it doesn’t matter what sins you have committed even since you were born again, you have a hope that goes beyond the grave.
The most important question you will ever ask is “did Jesus rise again?” because faith in his victory over the grave is what saves us.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
ALL Christian groups believe in physical resurrection of Jesus, this forms my definition of a Christian which I proposed in my first book:
“A Christian is someone who believes in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and lives in light of the implications of that event.” Raised With Christ, Page 20
If Jesus had not been raised, none of the following glorious things could be true of us:
United with him!
Clothed in him!
Hidden in him!
Interceded for by him!
Saved by him!
Healed by him!
Protected by him!
Welcomed home by him to a glorious eternity of no pain!
Life can still be very tough for Christians.
We experience every form of suffering that is common to other people.
We are not spared.
We feel pain.
But throughout all this God calls us to be a people of hope.
When facing the death of a loved one, knowing that we will one day meet them again makes all the difference.
What a day that will be.
And I am sure that there will be many who get to heaven that we will be surprised to see.
Only God knows what transactions are done between Him and a dying soul.
It is this hope that makes us grieve in a different way to those who are not Christians.
Jesus offers not just about a glorious eternal future, but also a glorious present.
Hope is meant to be for the here and now as well as for heaven.
That is why we need to be already AND not yet Christians.
That is why we must remain connected to the pain and grief of Good Friday and the reality of suffering in this world,
And why we must fix our eye on the Resurrection, and the glorious things it accomplished for us now, and in the World to come.
A few days ago I put together a playlist of what I call Gospel Hope Songs.
The songs I choose take us from acknowledging the pain that we face in this world, to the cross and resurrection of Jesus.
Without being triumphalist, these songs point us to hope.
They call us to come to Jesus.
In fact, I could rename this playlist as an Easter playlist.
I can think of few better ways to prepare your heart to gather to celebrate Easter than to listen to these songs and allow them to bring you to the foot of the cross and the empty tomb.
As I close this article join me in thanking this Jesus, who has done so much for you and for me.
Jesus who lived for me,
Jesus who died for me,
Jesus who rose again for me,
Jesus who is coming back for me,
Jesus who has prepared an eternal home for me!
This is the gospel.
It demands a response from us.
After he has done so much for us, how can we not live for him?
How can we not repent and believe?
How can we not obey his commands?
Like the old hymn boldly declares:
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride . . .
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
More Easter Articles
Don’t miss the rest of Adrian’s series on The Commands of Jesus,
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