Friday, April 22, 2011

What's So Good About Good Friday?

Courtesy demondimum of

Today is the day Christians celebrate the suffering and death of Jesus, the Christ. Although some people have chosen to celebrate Earth Day in lieu of this, believers from all over the world recognize the significance of remembering the day Jesus gave his life for the life of the world. However, some people celebrate with no real understanding of its true significance other than a powerful gesture of love. So, what sort of significance is it suppose to hold?

First of all, Jesus is God in human flesh. This is both an exclusive claim and an inclusive claim. It is exclusive in the sense that God is clearly only One God. There is no other. (Isaiah 45:5; Isaiah 45:14-22) God, Himself, discounts the existence of any other god besides Him. (Isaiah 44:8) He is the only Savior, and every knee will bow to Him. (Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:20-23) Yet, Jesus shares not only the glory of the Father, but His authority. And as such, holds a place of worship along side the Father. Jesus is fully God. (Philippians 2:5-11; Acts 4:8-12; Colossians 2:9-10)

It is also an inclusive claim because he came in human flesh. He shares our humanity, thus is a perfect substitutionary sacrifice (being fully man, and fully God). (Hebrews 1:1-4; Hebrews 2:14-18) He identifies with our sufferings, our temptations, and our limitations. Yet, he was without sin or guile. (Hebrews 4:15-16) He understands what everyone is going through, and offers a hope and peace that he knows we need. He is the hope of the whole world. Yet, the world doesn't accept him.

Second, Jesus died to satisfy the wrath of God. As previously said, Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. Whether we have realized it or not, when we were non-Christians, we were God's enemies. (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21) We were at war with God. Yet, God loved us and every non-Christian. But God is not mocked either. There will be an accounting which we will all have to pay. And pay dearly. But, God made a way to both satisfy His righteous retribution and to offer us freedom from judgment. (Romans 8:1-2) So, upon Jesus, God in human flesh, He made a way out of no way. He sacrificed Himself in our place. The wrath of the Father upon His Son for the life of the world. (Isaiah 53:10-12) Now, for those who become disciples of Jesus — who place their total trust and allegiance in him — there is salvation..

Last, Jesus rose from the grave. This is one of the most attested to account in all of history. It is the most scrutinized too, because it sounds so fantastic. Yet, it is virtually undeniable that it happened. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8) This leaves a powerful testimony that Jesus is not only more than a mere man, but that he is telling the truth. (Acts 17:29-31; John 14:8-11) And this truth is that he is God in human flesh, giving his life for the life of the world. His followers may experience physical death, but they will never die. (John 11:23-25)

For some people Jesus is all about their organization, denomination, or affiliations. They place their hope in these things as a replacement for following Jesus. But Jesus is the hope. His sacrifice is the only act. His resurrection is the proof. And no organization or affiliation can do that for you.

Now, that's what I call good news.

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