“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
As a little girl, each year when my family observed Good Friday, I never understood why it was called Good? “How can Jesus dying be good?” I always thought.
Reading the scriptures about how Jesus suffered, how they beat Him, mocked Him, and crucified Him, never seemed good to me. I didn’t like thinking about Jesus in pain. “Why do we have to remember this?” I wondered.
We remember it because it was a part of God’s beautiful, miraculous plan. We remember it because it was out of Christ’s love for us that He died. All of the torture He endured was for us–to forgive our sins, to free us from the law, to bring us closer to God, and give us the free gift of eternal life.
It’s not the excruciating pain Christ endured that’s good, but it’s the result of His death that is so, so good!
This morning, my intention was to have a more somber post in which we could be encouraged to mediate upon Christ’s death, but as I was praying, my heart was filled with so much JOY! I began to feel guilty that my heart wasn’t in a more solemn and contemplative place, but I felt God whisper, “It is finished. Rejoice in the hope that you have through My Son!”
I never want to forget the sacrifice and pain that Christ endured for me. I can’t even begin to find the words to express how grateful I am to God for the indescribable gift I have received as a result of His Son. But today, as I’m trying so hard to be serious and reflective, the hope and joy that we have through Christ’s death and resurrection is taking over. The inner Pointer Sister in me wants to sing, “I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it!” I know it’s not Sunday yet, but I’m finding it hard not to start celebrating. I feel like a little girl who can’t wait for Christmas to come and sneaks downstairs to open all her presents early.
Today is the day we remember the death of our Savior. On the surface, there is nothing good about death. But God wasn’t finished. I hear the voice of my old pastor, who every Good Friday would say, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming,” in a cheesy way that only he could pull off. He’s right!
Sunday is coming and that is why today is so, so good!
Titus 3:4-7 (NIV)
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Of the ceremonial law!
Finished all that God had promised;
Death and hell no more shall awe:
“It is finished!” “It is finished!”
Saints, from hence your comfort draw.
Join to sing the pleasing theme;
All on earth and all in heaven
Join to praise Immanuel’s name:
Glory to the bleeding Lamb!