Why Good Friday is Good
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has
eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian worldview, tells of one of his
all-time favorite “B.C.” comic strips:
Two guys are talking. “I hate the term good Friday,” says one. “Why?” says the other guy. “My Lord was hanged on a tree that day,” the first guy replies. “But if you were going to be hanged on that day,” his friend says, “and He volunteered to take your place, how would you feel?” “Good,” the first guy replies.
Stonestreet goes on to say: "And there it is. Today marks the greatest act of love in the history of the universe: He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5)."
Good Friday is good because Jesus did what no one else could do. Not only did He take our place; His death offers us eternal life. If we had been hung on the cross that day, we would have died and stayed dead. Without Jesus' death, there is no possibility of life, and there is no hope. But because Jesus died and rose again, He can say, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
That is the question still...do you believe this? Do you believe that Jesus' death on Good Friday paid the penalty, in a legal sense, for all your sins? When Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished," He wasn't merely talking about His suffering and death on the cross, He was saying that He had done everything necessary for a person to be saved. And once you accept that Jesus is the only One who could pay the price that God demanded for all your sin, you are made right with God. Being made right with God means having eternal life when you leave this world, and having peace with God until that day comes.
Jesus' death was necessary, but without the resurrection, He wouldn't be able to give the life He offers. We would believe in vain as Paul puts it in 1 Corinthians 15:14. We need both His death and His resurrected life.
When you believe that Jesus was doing more on the cross than just dying, and you accept the sacrifice He was making for you, you are saved. You cross over from death to life.
That is why Good Friday is so good!
As one who has already accepted Jesus as my Savior, I am eternally grateful for His sacrifice. I used to feel a little bit like the first guy in the comic strip. How could I call Jesus' crucifixion a good thing? It almost seemed hurtful. But I know it's what Jesus' death accomplished that is good, not that He had to suffer and die because of my sin. Jesus didn't die, so we would focus on what is sad; He died so we would focus on what is good and wouldn't have to spend eternity without Him. Jesus loves us and wants us to see the good in His death. He wants everyone to be saved.