When you call something “good” what are you really saying? Is stubbing your toe good? Is getting a flat tire good? How about losing a loved one, is that a good thing? Of course, not… yet, the day of the greatest loss, a day of tragedy, a day of execution, we call “good.”
Of course, many know that “Good Friday” is the day we celebrate Jesus going to to cross. On the surface, that sounds ridiculous, an execution is rarely worth celebrating… even for the harshest of criminals. Jesus was going to be crucified today, but only after He was going to be flogged, mocked, beaten, and humiliated. This day might have started out with our Lord in chains, but it would end with His lifeless body in a sealed tomb. The only real reason we could ever call it “Good Friday”, is because we have the hindsight of an even better Sunday… which revealed what was actually taking place on the cross.
Of course, we also get a picture of what was going on, by listening to what Jesus Himself said while on the cross:
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
These were Jesus’ last words, and many have pondered what the meaning behind them was. Some assume He meant the struggle of life, or the need to fight for breath as He fought the asphyxiation of the cross as His chest cavity collapsed more and more with each labored breath. There is no doubt, nothing appeared “good” on the hill that day.
But we know it was good, and that there was an even deeper meaning behind these words, because we can surmise that what Jesus actually meant was finished, was His mission. His mission was to be the sacrifice once for all mankind… to give His life so that we might live forever with God, for sin to be cleansed, and for all to be reconciled (made right) again. With those three words, Jesus establishes what makes this day so GOOD:
That, even amongst the anguish, the blood, the crying, and the mocking crowd… victory was being established.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.