Today is Good Friday. For those familiar with the story, the question often comes up: What is good about Good Friday? Jesus died didn’t He? What was good about that? The short answer is that He died as the perfect sacrifice for the sin of His people, past, present and future. According to the Old Testament law, blood had to be shed to pay for sin. The sacrifice had to be perfect. There could be no flaws on the lamb who was being sacrificed for a person’s sin.
Even more so, with the ultimate sacrifice for all the sin that was being paid for. This was the final sacrifice according to Hebrews.
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of God,
waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”
then he adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places
by the blood of Jesus,
by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain,
that is, through his flesh,
and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,
for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:11-25 ESV
This sacrifice superseded all the ones that took place in the Old Testament that were a picture of the one Jesus was going to make. It was the one that took place on Good Friday. For all who took advantage of the sacrifice that was made for them, this was and will be a wonderful thing. stop
Our sinful record was exchanged for the perfect record of Jesus’ life on earth for 33 years. He did not die like an ordinary man. How do we know?
- The earth went dark from noon to 3 pm during the time He was dying.
- The curtain dividing the holy place and the holy of holies in the temple split from the top down.
- At a time when the man Jesus would have been barely gasping for air, He yelled with a loud voice, “It is finished. Into your hands I commit my spirit.” Then He gave up His spirit. He didn’t die in the normal way a person dies on a cross.
- Later, when they were checking to see if He was dead, they speared His side and realized He was very dead. That is why His legs weren’t broken like the others were.
But if that had been the end of it, we would not know He had been victorious over sin and death! It’s what came next that completed the story.
Early Sunday morning, the day after the Sabbath, when some of Jesus’ followers went to take spices to His grave to finish embalming Him…and grieve over Him, they found an empty tomb! It was as unexpected as it would be to us! As He appeared to different ones of them in different ways during the following days, they each became convinced of the truth that He had risen from the dead!
How amazing! He was alive again! He had been victorious over death and Hell. Many of our Easter traditions blunt our awareness of the truth of what happened. As gruesome as the cross was, the Resurrection took away all the sting of it. Jesus was now alive! The resurrection shows us that He has won that victory!
He had to go through the cross for us. He wasn’t able to short-circuit that process. But the next thing was the Resurrection. Without it, we would never have know that He had been victorious!