My grandchildren and I used to enjoy watching a cartoon entitled Special Agent Oso. The essence of the show is to give kids three steps to complete a task, to do them in order, and enjoy the end result. Good Friday is one of the steps in God’s divine order of redemption and we have the privilege of enjoying the outcome: forgiveness of our sin and relationship with God forever.
Why is Good Friday is so good? It’s partly because on this somber day we remember that there were steps that needed to be taken in order for His divine plan to be accomplished.
He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross (Col. 2: 13).
Did you ever wonder why He allowed Himself to be put through such an ordeal, a literal execution? The book of Hebrews tells us the reason was because of the joy that was ahead of Him (12:2). At first thought I wouldn’t describe Good Friday as joyful but I think we can see it more clearly in the questioning of Jesus by the high priest, Caiaphas. He needed a false testimony to condemn Him to death. Listen to his command and Jesus’ response:
And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” (Matthew 26:63, 64 NASB)
Jesus shows us here that He was focused, not on the cross and the suffering He would endure, but on His return. Did you catch that? Jesus was thinking about His magnificent return to earth as Judge and King. His answer to Caiaphas proves that Jesus looked beyond the crucifixion and to His return when He will prove to the world, once and for all, that He is the long-awaited and promised Messiah. Let’s keep our eyes focused on His return this year as well as remembering what He endured on our behalf. The why of Good Friday is the knowledge He had of our promised destiny with Him. Our future is established: ruling and reigning with Him on earth, that’s incorruptible joy and it is set before us also.
God’s step-by-step plan of redemption, fulfilled in order, brings great joy to a believer. That’s why we call it Good Friday amidst the memory of torture, suffering, and death.
For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. (Psalm 112:6-8 ESV)
I join you in joyfully celebrating Resurrection Sunday this year.