It’s “Good Friday” – yet we wouldn’t have known to call it “good” if we were one of the disciples of Jesus on that day… A most gruesome day when it seemed that all hope was gone. In fact, as a child, I never understood why we called it “Good” Friday, when it was about death and nothing “good” happening to Jesus. But now, with a grateful heart, I understand that the “good” was for me… and for all of us. Without the death of Jesus and the punishment He took instead of me, I would not have forgiveness for my sins. I deserve the cross, but instead, Jesus died in my place, and I am made “good” with God through the blood shed by my Savior. Oh what a “Good” Friday it is, indeed!
You know, if the disciples had just listened to Jesus… He warned them about the events of this day and the days to come. Several times. Once early on in ministry, and several times as they were heading into Jerusalem. Even during the last Supper, Jesus talked about the cup and His blood that would be shed (Mt. 26:28):
“From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Matthew 16:21
“And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside along the way and said to them, Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes; and they will sentence Him to death And deliver Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and whipped and crucified, and He will be raised [to life] on the third day.” Matthew 20:17-19
and early in His ministry as He spoke in front of the disciples and addressed the mean-spirited religious leaders:
“Jesus answered them, Destroy (undo) this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again. Then the Jews replied, It took forty-six years to build this temple (sanctuary), and will You raise it up in three days? But He had spoken of the temple which was His body.
When therefore He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this. And so they believed and trusted andrelied on the Scripture and the word (message) Jesus had spoken.” John 2:19-22
But they didn’t get it. They weren’t focused on the big picture of Jesus’ purpose on this earth. Instead, they were looking at the here and now, and how the events of the day(s) would affect them. Oh, but aren’t we just like the disciples? Who of us has not at some important time focused on the immediate instead of the eternal? Who of us has not heard Jesus’ Words of wisdom, comfort, and instruction only to ignore them because we can’t rationalize them? I can not say one word against this band of faithful followers of Christ, who often got it wrong. Because, in the midst of the worst period of their lives, Jesus understood their frailty, redeemed their faithlessness, and made out of them a band of brothers willing to stand and die for the love of their Lord.
After the Resurrection, Jesus reminded the disciples of what He had been teaching them earlier, and they got it.
“I’ve been telling you this all along, that everything written about Me in the Hebrew Scriptures must be fulfilled—everything from the law of Moses to the prophets to the psalms.
Then He opens their minds so they can comprehend the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures.
This is what the Scriptures said: that the promised Anointed One should suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, that in His name a radical change of thought and life should be preached, and that in His name the forgiveness of sins should be preached, beginning in Jerusalem and extending to all nations. You have witnessed the fulfillment of these things.” Luke 24:44-48
The key that made the difference for them? Jesus opened their minds so that they could comprehend the meaning of the Scriptures.
The key that makes the difference for us? Jesus must open our minds so that we, too, can comprehend the meaning of His Words. So, when we are seeing things from the temporal, lets ask Him to open our minds so that we can view our situations with eternal lens.
Then, like the disciples, we will be able to take the message of “Good Friday” and “Resurrection Sunday” into every area of life where hope seems to have disappeared. For those who love and belong to Jesus Christ… it is a most “Good Friday” for us all.
Crucifixion, Death, and Burial: Matthew 27:32-66; Mark 15:21-47; Luke 23:26-56; John 19:16-42
(As you read, place yourself in the midst of the crowd… or as a close disciple of Jesus. Ask Jesus to open your eyes to behold wonderful things from His Word (Psalm 119:18) and to speak to YOU about this “Good” Friday.)
And for a little more information on what happened on this Good day, read about the Seven Miracles that occurred during this most gruesome and blessed event here from last year’s SmellingCoffee Good Friday post.
(And forgive me, but one more thing: If you’re wondering about the history behind some of our Easter traditions and how to keep Easter fully focused on Jesus, this episode of Smelling Coffee TV might be of use. It had to be chopped at the beginning and end because we (I) talked too long. Imagine that!)
Keeping Easter ALL about Jesus (click here if you can’t see the video)
A blessed Good and wonder-filled Friday to you all~