It’s hard for me to label as good the anniversary of Jesus’ brutal execution. I’m grateful that He died for the sins of the world (especially mine!), but by what standard can I call today good?
After all, God warns people against confusing good and evil. Mixing them up constitutes one of the major problems of our society as our culture falls ever deeper into a morass of moral darkness. Perhaps the devil rejoiced over the crucifixion of the Son of God, but we shouldn’t!
However, I have two reasons to believe that the term, “Good Friday,” is valid. First, a selfish one. If Jesus failed to pay the price for my sins, I’d have to, and that price is just too high – eternal separation from God. So I thank the Lord for taking my punishment.
Second, I have a theological reason; everything created is good. Really!
But does this render all that God made – time, space, energy, matter, living things – evil? Not according to the apostle Paul! In 1 Timothy 4:4, he insists that created things are good. Each one of them. Even today.
How can Good Friday, a day of monstrous injustice, be asserted as good? Because, as He does every day and for everything, God sustained the existence of that day.
And therein lies the secret of the dreadfulness of sin and the extravagance of His grace.
When people use the good things of creation for evil purposes, it’s like they’re forcing God to participate in wickedness. The Lord neither approves of nor perpetrates sin, but He does maintain the existence of the universe and all it contains, even those things that people misuse. That’s how offensive sin is to a holy God. He not only knows it from a distance; He deals up close with that which conflicts with the purity of His character.
In light of this situation, I’d expect God to react angrily. And He has. Long ago, evil was so rampant that He wiped out the world with a flood. But the Lord has dealt with sin not only with judgment but with His saving grace in Jesus Christ.
The Son of God suffered betrayal, abuse, and torture though He deserved none of these. Sin exacts a heavy toll but Christ willingly bore the penalty we earned. That grace not only grants forgiveness; it also provides new life for all who trust His work. You know what I call this amazing demonstration of God’s love?