Most people have asked this at some point… The answer normally being some generic story about Jesus dying for our sins – what does that even mean? Are you seriously telling me that Good Friday makes any difference to us in this day and age? Get real.
I’ll try to make my answer as concise as possible. As spoken about in a previous post, there is a problem with the human heart, the cancer of the human race that is ‘sin’. None of us are perfect, but is that really such a problem? It’s fair to say we tend to agree on what is wrong, but differ on what wrongs are excusable. That time I let my friend down, that lie I told, all those times when I put myself first… Surely God can let me off?
But what happens when someone does something against you, your family or friends? If someone stole from your Father, lied to your brother, bullied your daughter or cheated on your best friend. To what degree do we deem something excusable? Why is it that we cry out for justice but only when it suits us? I must add, I’m as guilty of this as the next person!
God is the perfect standard. The only one who is fully good, loving and totally pure. So it’s only natural for God to hate sin; for where there is love, there is also the opposite- anger. Or as C.S Lewis puts it ‘anger is the fluid love bleeds when you cut it’. In comparison to God we’re all polluted. There is no way we can remove the stain of sin ourselves. We can try to achieve our way back to God; give some money to charity, help out at the soup kitchen, all of which are great but, the baggage of sin is still there on our shoulders.
Since God is perfectly loving yet perfectly just, He must punish sin. But this is the best part… God took the punishment for us. Jesus i.e. God the son, came down to us and made himself the lowest of the low. He lived the perfect life and willingly died to take the ‘cup of wrath’ for us. Perfectly loving, perfectly just. Jesus not only experienced one of the most horrific, degrading physical deaths ever, he also experienced the worst spiritual pain. Full judgement and complete separation from His Father. In other words, Jesus put on the clothes of the most despicable man ever, he took on sins of the whole world… A world that put him to death! I find that difficult to comprehend. How bad is sin that God needed to do that to save us (whilst still dealing with sin justly)? He’s well within his rights to simply wipe us out. How can God love us so much to do that?
Not only are we given a clean slate, we get a shining reputation in our place. God the Father looks upon us as though we are Jesus himself! He adopts us as his own children. This grace is not forced upon anyone though; God has given us a real will, so we can accept or reject/ignore this gift. If we truly accept that offer, we’re sealed forever, and there is no sin we can do to remove it. Jesus sets us free from all sin, all guilt… The chains are gone. What a saviour.
That is why it’s Good Friday. Nah actually, I still think it’s a rubbish name. It should be Fantastic Friday!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16