Good Friday Thoughts

 

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When you think about Good Friday, what come to mind?

Aside form it being the day that we remember that it was the day that Christ was crucified, do we really consider what the crucifixion means?

When Jesus was brought before Pilate, on that fateful morning, do we give thought to what was occurring in the economy of God.

Pilate represented the Roman authority in Judea at the time and they, for all intents and purposes, ruled the world–they were the final authority, but do we consider what that means?

Paul, in his epistle to the Romans states,

For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1)

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001. Print.

The Romans, who vested Pilate with authority as governor, stood, even as a pagan nation, as the representative authority of God, under that authority fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah, and we could say in agreement that we,

…esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001. Print.

Pilate declared him to be innocent (John 18:38), but his enemies, enemies which included you and I by extension, would not hear it, could not countenance it. So, Pilate brought out someone who was truly worthy of death, the murderer and thief known as Barabbas (Luke 23:18-23), but the crowd demanded the life of Jesus. And so Jesus, an innocent man, took the place of a guilty man.

People do not think that this is fair, that Pilate should have ignored the crowd, but God had greater plans, and Pilate did what he had to do.

But do we think about what happened, about the transaction that took place on that judgment seat? That an innocent man, one declared innocent, took the place of one who was most certainly guilty. An innocent man had been beaten to a pulp, humiliated by his captors, a man who had not fought back against an unjust arrest and a sham trial, but stayed silent. There on that stage, man was given a choice between God and man, between the Truth and a shadow, and man chose the shadow. Popular films have tried to insert a few voices shouting in dissent, voices that were overwhelmed by those crying for blood but, more than likely, those voices were silenced by fear. And so Jesus went to the cross and was crucified.

But, let us think about what happened.

The innocent, the only one who was truly innocent, willingly took the place of the guilty.

Christ, being fully man, could do that. He could take the place of one man, a man justly condemned as a rebel and a sinner, just like us.

Christ, being fully God, infinite in Being, could engulf all of his people in one instance in time.

The Incarnation, being the touchpoint of God and humanity, made known in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

God, being represented in the human authority of Roman Empire, could pour out his wrath upon sin and rebellion at one point in time, and Christ could stand in the place of man and take it.

God could be perfectly just, and perfectly merciful and gracious at the same time.

Oh, that Old Rugged Cross, for time and eternity.

All that I can say is, “Thank you, God, for your Son, who paid my debt, who took my place, who bore my guilt, and carried my pain, and by your Spirit, you have taken one who was once your enemy and made him a child. Thank you.”

Image credit: Bing.com

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