It’s Friday, April 3, 33 AD. All roads from this past week have led to this moment. God is hanging on the cross, dying. Before you read this short blog, if you have not taken time today to read the Scriptural Account of Good Friday, please do so first. This will be a very average blog and the Gospels contain the very words of God. It might be wise to read God first.
Christians have called this particular Friday good for many years. To a bystander, using the phrase Good Friday to describe Jesus’ death may be more of an oxymoron than a tautology. On a Friday, nearly two thousand years ago, Jesus, the Messiah, fully God and fully man, died. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21). On the cross, Jesus was “the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). On the cross, “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor 15:3b). This is certainly good news. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), but instead of you and I dying, Christ has died for us. He had paid the penalty for our sin; He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Today is both Friday and it is a very good day.
While it is good, we also grieve today. Our hearts are heavy as we gather in our respective churches to remember Jesus’ death and to commemorate His life and work in the Lord’s Supper. As you worship tonight, you have the ability to do one of two things. I think they can best be described through the life of Judas and Peter. Most of you know their lives well. What do you do when you see Jesus? Both Judas and Peter were remorseful for their sinful actions toward God. You must come to the cross remorseful over your personal sin. That is where the stories diverge into two very different tales. They were both remorseful for sin, but Judas’ remorsefulness led to his suicide. Peter’s remorsefulness led to repentance. On this Good Friday, be remorseful for your sin but allow it to lead you to repentance not to eternal death. I think I forget the rest of Romans 6:23; not only does it say “the wages of sin is death,” Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, continues. “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
As you walk through the rest of your day, feel the weight of Christ’s death; feel the weight of your personal sin. Be remorseful and allow your remorse to lead you to confession and repentance. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. Now that is good news; it’s very good news. Christian, when was the last time you considered your ongoing sin enough to bring you to remorse and repentance? Today may be a good day for you. Christ died for your sins!