Our Father in Heaven,
We come to you on this morning that is known to Christians as “Good Friday”. Some may wonder how this day, of all days, can possibly be considered as “good”. After all, it is on this day that we remember the suffering of Jesus, your only son, your sinless son, when he was mocked, tortured with a crown of thorns, spat on, flogged and crucified on the cross between two criminals. He took on all of our sins and gave us his righteousness. This was not just a good, but truly a great exchange.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Isaiah tells us that Jesus was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities. We like sheep have gone astray, and yet in your perfect plan, you have laid the iniquity of us all on Jesus. As hard as it is for us to believe, it was your will to crush him (Isaiah 53:10). He was betrayed, denied and abandoned by those closest to him. He prayed in Gethsemane that you would remove the cup of wrath from him, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” He was forsaken by you on the cross as he who knew no sin became sin, taking on himself all the sins that all of his followers would ever commit, so that they might become the righteousness of God.
So yes, today is a “Good” Friday indeed. Without the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Jesus, we would have no hope. Without him taking all our sins upon himself and giving us his righteousness, his perfectly lived obedient life in exchange, we would have no hope. And just like the one criminal hanging next to Jesus who repented, all who repent and are saved can hear “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Father, we are so thankful for you designing this brilliant plan of salvation, Jesus accomplishing it and the Holy Spirit applying it to our lives.