Good Friday 3-25-16
German, the day is called Karfreitag, or “Sorrowful Friday” or “Mourning Friday.”
If we skip Good Friday, we may forget the cost of salvation.
“When the dreadful cup was before Christ, he did not say, ‘Why should I go to plunge myself into such torments for worthless, wretched worms that deserve to be hated by me? Why should I who have been living from all eternity in the enjoyment of the Father’s love, cast myself into such a furnace for those who never can pay me for it? Why should I yield myself to be crushed by the divine wrath for those who have no love for me, and are my enemies? They do not deserve any union with me, and never did, and never will.’ Such, however, was not the language of Christ’s heart in these circumstances. On the contrary, he resolved even then, in the midst of his agony, to yield himself up to the will of God, and to take the cup and drink it.”– Jonathan Edwards
Jesus dying for our sins is OF FIRST IMPORTANCE says the Apostle Paul– 1 Corinthians 15:3,
Often we are reminded of the ever-quoted verse – John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”(RSV)
Now on Good Friday
- We rememberthe day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the only possible sacrifice for our sins (1 Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.” NASB)
- We look aheadto a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith(Romans 6:5).
- We must acknowledge our sinful nature. In order for the good news of the gospel to have meaning for us, we need to acknowledge our sinful nature. The good news of deliverance through Christ can only make sense when we see how we are enslaved by sin. The Law points out our sin; the gospel of Jesus Christ floods us with grace that leads to salvation and peace and a life with Christ.
On the Cross we see Suffering & Forgiveness, we see Wrath & Mercy
It is important each yearfor us to walk through the Passion, to look closely, intimately at the cost, the suffering, what Jesus did to make a way for each ofus to forgiveness, to overwhelming joy, peace beyond understanding, unfailing love, and everlasting life.
Jesus and His disciples gathered for the Last Supper. He sent the disciples into the city to make preparations. He told them to say, “My appointed time is near” (Mathew 26:18).
As John 13 begins, we read that, “Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father.” He washes the feet of His disciples.
Jesus speaks of the betrayal to come. He says, “the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him” (Matthew 26:24). The one who would betray Him – Judas – would receive the bread Jesus dipped. Then Judas leaves. We read in John 13:30, “As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.” Judas left the Light of the world for the darkness.
Jesus speaks of the denial to come. He quotes Zechariah 13:7, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” Peter exclaims, “Even if I have to die with you, I would never disown you” (Mark 14:31).
Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper – Holy Communion. He says, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
He shares the Discourse we read in John 14, and speaks in John 15 about being the True Vine. He promises opposition from the world.
He then speaks of the Holy Spirit to come. He says, “It is for your goodthat I am going away” (John 16:7). He reminds them again that they “will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone” (John 16:32).
“But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Then in John 17, Jesus prays for His disciples and for all who believe in Him. You. Me.
Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him to the Garden of Gethsemane. He went alone to pray. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 36:38).
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will” (Matthew 36: 39).
Judas brings the chief priests and Pharisees with a detachment of Roman soldiers. Judas points out Jesus with a kiss (Mark 14:45).
Jesus tells Judas to “do what you came for” (Matthew 26:50). Jesus lets the group know, “I am He” and they fall to the ground (John 18:6).
Peter reaches out and cuts off a piece of the ear of Malchus (John 8:10). Jesus tells Peter to “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 8:11).
“But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way” (Matthew 26:54). “Then everyone deserted him and fled” (Mark 14:50).
Then came the Trial. First with the Jewish authority – Annas – father-in-law to Caiaphas the high priest. Second with the Jewish authority – Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. “They all condemned him as worthy of death” (Mark 14:64).
Peter follows at a distance (Luke 22:54) and denies Jesus three times. Judas commits suicide, “for I have betrayed innocent blood” (Matthew 27:3).
Then came the Roman phase. Jesus went before Pilate the Roman Governor. Pilate sent him to Herod because He was from Galilee. Then Herod sent Him back to Pilate. Pilate says Jesus “has done nothing to deserve death” (Luke 23:15). He offers to release either Jesus or Barabbas. They select Barabbas to be released.
“The Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ And they struck him in the face” (John 19:2-3).
The crowd yells for Jesus to be crucified. Pilate responds, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him” (John 18:6). He washes his hands of it and says, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your responsibility” (Matthew 27:24).
The Roman soldiers stripped him, mocked him, spit on him, struck him in the head again and again (Matthew 27:28-30). He gets some help from Simon to carry His cross.
The first three hours of the crucifixion, Jesus faced the wrath of humans.
The soldiers cast lots to divide up the garments of Jesus (Mark 15:24) which fulfilled Psalm 22:18. The thief on the cross “hurled insults” at Jesus (Matthew 27:39).
Jesus asks John to watch over his mother (John 19:26-27).
The last three hours of the crucifixion, Jesus faced the wrath of God.
“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land” (Matthew 27:45).
The Father speaks to Jesus (who is taking on all of our sin):
Why have you sinned against me?
- You are self-sufficient and self-righteous — consumed with yourself and puffed up and selfishly ambitious.
- You rob me of my glory and worship what’s inside of you instead of looking out to the One who created you.
- You are a greedy, lazy, gluttonous slanderer and gossip.
- You are a lying, conceited, ungrateful, cruel adulterer.
- You practice sexual immorality; you make pornography, and fill your mind with vulgarity.
- You exchange my truth for a lie and worship the creature instead of the Creator. And so you are given up to your sexual passions, dressing immodestly, and lusting after what is forbidden.
- With all your heart you love perverse pleasure.
- You hate your brother and murder him with the bullets of anger fired from your own heart.
- You kill babies for your convenience.
- You oppress the poor and deal slaves and ignore the needy.
- You persecute my people.
- You love money and prestige and honor.
- You are lukewarm and easily enticed by the world.
- You are filled with envy and rage and bitterness and unforgiveness.
- You blame others for your sin and are too proud to even call it sin.
- You are never slow to speak.
- And you have a razor tongue that lashes and cuts with its criticism and sinful judgment.
- Your words do not impart grace. Instead your mouth is filled with condemnation and guilt and obscene talk.
- You are a false prophet leading people astray.
- You mock your parents.
- You have no self-control.
- You are a betrayer who stirs up division and factions.
- You’re a thief.
- You do not trust me.
Drink my cup!
Jesus drinks. God’s wrath is poured out. He drinks every single drop of God’s hatred of sin. At this point, as Jesus takes on all of the world’s sin, the Father cannot look at his beloved Son. He must turn away.
Jesus calls out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
The response: Silence. Separation.
Jesus whispers, “I’m thirsty.” (John 19:28). Someone puts wine vinegar on a stick and offers it to Jesus (Matthew 27:48).
Jesus cries out, “It is finished.” (John 19:28). He drank the cup of wrath until it was bone dry. Then he yells out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46).
- The veil is torn (Mark 15:38).
- The earth shook (Matthew 27:51)
- The rocks split (Matthew 27:51).
It was a Good Friday.
The mission of Jesus was completed.
The sacrifice of Jesus was accepted.
The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to all. Without the suffering, the sorrow, the blood shed at the cross, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26).