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Good Friday - Amazing Friday
Good Friday. This is a very inadequate name for this day. If you don't know the whole Easter story, today would be called Terrible Friday. Yet for those who know the story, today should be Great Friday, or Amazing Friday.
Yesterday I wrote on Maundy Thursday, and what I wrote there explains a lot of why today is “good”. So today's thought might be quite short. I couldn't imagine what the first “Good Friday” was like for those who didn't know the rest of the Easter story. It would mark the worst day in the history of the universe. It's the day God died.
How is that possible. It's a mystery understood only by faith. God's Word, Jesus, became a human being not only to teach us, but to die as our substitute. We were held captive and needed ransom, and Jesus paid it. We were slaves and needed to be set free, and He became our Savior. Amazing!
God knew the perfect timing for this to happen. All the prophesies had to be fulfilled. Sometimes, we think about the cross as a beautiful and glorious thing. Yet it was an incredibly terrifying way to die. It wasn't a nice pretty smooth cross; it was jagged, imperfect, and ugly. It was a tool of death for terrible criminals, yet the only one in the universe who deserves everything good experienced not only a terrible death, but the weight of every sin and God's wrath.
I know why people like to think of the happy pretty cross, because it's easier to digest than really focusing on the dirty, bloody, splintering hunk of wood on which we deserve to hang. Yet the reason we can focus on the beauty of the cross is because of God's love. God's love covered that cross and so now we see it as beautiful, because we know the end result. And God, in His love, covers our dirty, jagged and ugly lives with the blood of Jesus, and in His eyes, we are now made beautiful.
I'm thankful to know the rest of the story. If I didn't, I'd be hopeless, desolate, lonely, depressed, and still in need of a savior. I know He didn't stay dead and it didn't become the end of the story. I know He is risen! And I can rejoice in today because it means I've been set free.