It is Finished!
On this dark and painful day we may justifiably ask, “What’s so good about Good Friday?” Jesus has been betrayed, denied, flogged, and crucified. It hardly describes what we would usually describe as a good day.
Good Friday is called Good Friday because, Christians believe, there is something very good about it: It is the anniversary, of Jesus suffering and dying for our sins. “That terrible Friday has been called Good Friday because it led to the Resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death and sin and the celebration of Easter, the very pinnacle of Christian celebrations,” according to the Huffington Post. The Oxford English Dictionary and other language experts support the theory that the name comes from an antiquated meaning of good.
The crucified Lord was the cornerstone of Paul’s preaching. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). If the crucifixion of Jesus is central to our preaching and teaching, then it follows that there is something inherently “good” in the gruesome events of that Friday afternoon.
One of words recorded as coming from the lips of the dying Jesus is, “It is finished.” In that dying proclamation Jesus assures us that God has accomplished what God intended in the life and death of Jesus. The Anointed One has done all that can be done for fallen humanity. The price for sin has been paid once and for all. The curtain of the temple has been torn (Matthew 27:51); symbolizing that the death of Jesus spans the gulf between sinful humanity and God. Jesus has completed his commission of making God’s love available for all of humankind (see John 3:16).
There is, of course, another act to this drama and that is the resurrection of Jesus. In the resurrection God placed an enduring affirmation of the events of Good Friday.
Jesus is condemned and executed as the lowest of criminals, but God has the final word and, in the resurrection, affirmed that the plan is complete. It is finished! It cannot be modified or improved upon.
Thank you, God, for showing me your heart in the life, death, and resurrection of your son, Jesus. Thank you for seeing in me someone worth loving and dying for. I am humbled by your sacrifice and challenged by your love. Amen.