“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 NKJV
Have you ever wondered why Good Friday is called “good”? It certainly wasn’t one of Jesus’ best days!
Imagine: You are taken from your prison and mocked in the streets on the way to your faux trial, and your followers seem to have abandoned you. You get there and the judge asks the crowd if they would rather have you or a criminal walking the streets, and they decide the criminal is more welcome than you. To please the angry crowd, you are flogged, then sentenced to death, when all you did was preach love and kindness and the goodness and acceptance of God.
You again are dragged through the streets to the hill where the wicked are left to die, and before you go, the soldiers mock you and place a crown of thorns on your head shortly before they start casting lots for your clothing. You are put through unbearable pain as others taunt you, you thirst and you are given vinegar, you see your mother and other followers crying at your feet, among the throngs that still continue to scream for your blood. Even in your last hour, you cry out to your Father because you feel you have been forsaken, however, you still are able to forgive all who treated you in this way, and you offer paradise to the criminal crucified with you. You commend your spirit into your Father’s hands, and it is all over.
This was Christ!
Or is it? No, it becomes Good Friday because Jesus’ death is just the beginning of our path to salvation. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him.
And by His stripes we are healed. He died so that we may live eternally in God’s kingdom, our sins forgiven through His horrible death. That is the “good” in Good Friday.
Please Lord, let us understand that through Your Son’s death our sins are forgiven. Let us contemplate His suffering if only to remind ourselves that He died so that we may be saved. Guide us to walk the path that Jesus showed us, and continue to be a Presence in our lives so that as we feel that we are forsaken or unworthy, we shall know that we are not through Your grace and Christ’s sacrifice. Amen.