Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 47

Final Judgment and Joyous Restoration (Good Friday)

by

Today's Text: Isaiah 66:1-24, Matthew 27:32-50

Text: Isaiah 66:1-24, Matthew 27:32-50

It feels counterintuitive to call this day good. “Good Friday,” we say, but for a long time I could not understand why. How is the murder of the world’s only sinless person—the only truly, wholly good human—good?

In a very real sense, it was awful. And not just awful, but evil. The dark hearts of men put Jesus to death, causing Him to suffer and mocking Him at each step. It was the height of injustice, a banner day for cruelty. But it was not the end of the story.

In his response to today’s reading over at our brother site, He Reads Truth, author Barnabas Piper explains the paradox this way:

It was the darkest of days, the most unjust and evil of days. Yet it was good—good for you and for me and every other person who has ever lived. For through the evil, God brought life and hope to the world.

“Isaiah 66 describes God comforting His people like a mother. He promises to wrap them in His arms and bring them peace and joy. He promises they will flourish like grass and that peace will flow like a river.

“How? By way of Good Friday—a perfect sacrifice to satisfy God’s need for justice. Through the evil committed against Jesus came all our joy. We have peace. We can flourish. There is no distance between us and God. He wraps us up in His arms like a mother embraces her children.”

Yes, the darkness of this day is real, and it is painful. It should cause us to wince, to mourn, to grow quiet as we gaze soberly upon the wounded Christ hanging on His cross. It should cause us to repent of our sin—the sin He carried and suffered for in our place. But it should also cause us to worship. It is by His wounds that we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). It is His suffering that brought us peace (Isaiah 66:12).

Good Friday was the day the promised Messiah secured salvation for sinners. It was the day God’s holy and just wrath against sin was satisfied by the sinless sacrifice of His Son. It was the day the curtain of separation from God was torn so that all could enter in.  

Yes, this day is good. Thanks be to God.

SRT-LENT2017-Instagram47s

  • Thank you, Jesus. There is no other love like yours.

  • This is honestly the first time I’ve done a study leading up to Easter (and actually stuck with it!) and I am SO thankful for this SRT study. Going into this weekend and on this Good Friday, I’m able to look back on Isaiah and now at Matthew and have a greater understanding of what Jesus did for us. Since the moment sin entered the world, we’ve been running away from Him, rejecting Him, rebelling against Him. Yet, He STILL decided to send His Son so that we could be in relationship with Him, so we wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for our sins, so we could bring Him the glory He deserves! And all of this has really brought me to a point of desiring other people to know Him too! My prayer for all of us today is that we have opportunities this weekend to introduce others to our Jesus so they can also experience a love unlike any other!

  • Third Day’s song runs through my head…”He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our sins, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him…and by His wounds, by His wounds WE ARE HEALED”…and that is the good that comes from this Friday, that we are saved…

  • Diane Huntsman

    Every Good Friday I try to “do my part” to really experience all that I think I should today.. attend church, what the passion of the Christ, bring my thoughts into submission as to what Jesus really endured.. I think sometimes I’m looking for an emotional experience to draw me closer to Him.. although these things aren’t bad, I have to ask myself if I’m trying to work to make me more holy instead of ponder His holiness.. it’s kinda always my mentality “what’s in it for me” even when I’m celebrating Him.. I need to admit this so I can prayerfully move past the me to get to the Him.. yes He died for me, yes He loves me, but He is the focus and that focus will naturally change me instead of me trying to change me by doing all the “right” things..this probably doesn’t make a lick of sense to the person reading this, but in short I want pure motives in all I do, especially pertaining to my walk with Jesus and I want my attention set on Him alone not what I can get from Him… I pray we all can worship Him today for who He is and what He has done and look forward to an eternity spent in His presence!

    • Evie

      Diane, I totally get you. Every Easter I feel like I need to do more liturgical things to set these days apart, to give significance to the greatest event in human history and in our spiritual lives. But then it becomes about me, how I experience this, how I feel etc and how people see me. You make sense, and I struggle with it too. This Good Friday I decided to fast my social media (other than SRT of course :P), everything that connects me to the outside world i cut off, so that I can truly focus on Him, and actually it was harder than I thought. He brought me to repentance once again and the cross brought me to a place of quiet peace once again. May he embrace you like a mother embraces a child and bring you into his presence today.

      • Diane Huntsman

        Evie! Thank you for this!! I pray He meets you like never before as you have chosen to forsake your normalcy for intimacy with Him.. oh how He loves you!

    • Ami

      I totally understand what you mean and this is something I struggle with, as well. I need to prayerfully ask God to show me when I am wrong and when my heart isn’t pure. I tend to focus on myself and how others perceive me or how I’m feeling instead of putting my focus on Him and letting the pieces come together.

    • Zoe

      I know EXACTLY what you mean! All too well!

  • Glory to Your name God for this day in history! The day that set it all in motion! “It is Finished” was just the Beginning! Thank you Lord!

  • Carrie Rogers

    ❤️

  • I decided to fast today so that I will think about this amazing sacrifice when I am hungry. I rarely fast (it doesn’t suit me very well!), so I am deliberately using it for this purpose only. Praise God for all that Good Friday represents.

  • I recently heard another way of looking at the Jesus story. Jesus put an end to redemptive violence by dying on the cross. Redemptive violence meaning: when someone does or says something hurtful to you, you do or say something hurtful back… and this cycle goes on and on and on and on. Jesus CHOSE to say no to this cycle and instead decided to live out God’s plan of love.

    I think one of the reasons why I’ve enjoyed Isaiah so much is because I haven’t been reading it literally. I’ve read that authors in this age didn’t really write literally. They told stories to explain truths. I don’t think I believe in God sitting on his throne actually crushing babies because people were disobedient (I forgot which verse this actually was, but it was definitely in what we read). And I don’t think our God has ego. Our God doesn’t *need* to be worshipped to *feel* satisfied and appreciated. That’s human projection. Instead, I see the book of Isaiah as a guide to right living. If you do this (like worship idols), there will be havoc in your life. Not because God brings the havoc. But because it’s a natural consequence for that kind of behavior. Another example in Isaiah is if you’re arrogant, eventually disaster will find you. And again, I think this is a totally natural consequence of being arrogant. In this way, God is so much like a parent. He knows how certain paths will lead to destruction, but his children can’t see that. So he tries to warn them off and convince them not to go down there, using graphic and scary imagery to hopefully keep them on track. I’m reminded of my mom who taught me to say no to drugs. She would go on and on about how they would ruin my life. She gave me examples of lives they have ruined. Painted pictures of people dying in allies alone. Pictures of people selling their bodies for drugs and stealing from loved ones. Pictures of horrible and gruesome deaths. And you know what? I listened. I’m aware of the consequences and I would rather stay on a sober path. This is what I see God doing in Isaiah and it’s so loving. It’s exactly like my mom in this way and I’m so appreciative for the lessons.

    Worshipping God and surrendering is an act of humility. We aren’t 100% responsible for all the good things in our life. There were so many things that had to line up for us to receive our blessings – and God is responsible for that. I believe that’s the purpose of worship. Not that it satisfies God’s ego. Worship keeps us humble, and it’s hard to be arrogant and self-righteous when you live in a state of humility. It’s so much easier to love our neighbors when we realize we have all been Judas.

    So I don’t think I believe God *needed* Jesus to die on the cross as justice for our sins. Because all throughout this second half of Isaiah, he’s been offering redemption all along. Instead, I believe Jesus is a perfect example of human life. The way I look at it, all sin is a form of abuse. When you sin, you’re either abusing yourself or abusing others. You’re either being physically/emotionally violent to yourself or physically/emotionally violent to others. This is sinful nature. But Jesus showed us we could overcome this nature. And even in the hardest most painful time in his life (when people were being physically violent towards him), and when they were saying mean things to him (being emotionally violent towards him), AT THE SAME TIME, mind you!!!! He didn’t crack. He still chose not to participate in the violence. You know how easy it would have been to make just one snarky comment back?!! JUST ONE SNARKY COMMENT. But he didn’t. He refused his ego. He stayed obedient to love until the very end. What an AWESOME God.

    I apologize if this is rambly. I’m on my phone :/

    • Theresa

      Thank you for sharing.

    • Elizabeth

      Such good words Lana! Thanks for that ❤️

    • Debbi Faust

      I have really struggled with reading Isaiah. I wish you would have written this a few weeks back because it helped me see things a little clearer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

    • Jenni

      Lana, thanks for sharing sister! What you said about God not “needing” Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and about Jesus being a perfect example of human life has me thinking though….if the blood of His Son wasn’t necessary for forgiveness of sins; why would God make His Son go through that? As Isaiah 53 says though, it was through His punishment that we are healed (vs 5), He is our guilt offering (vs 10), and because He bore our sin we can be justified (vs 11). If Jesus was JUST a good example, then that’s bad news because we could never be perfect like Him. If He is our substitute on the cross and because of His death we can be forgiven- that is some good news!

    • Kelly

      What a great way to explain Isaiah . Really helped hearing what you wrote to help me better understand what I read. Thanks for sharing ❤

    • Zoe

      I love this and your perspective! Thank you for taking the time to share this.

    • Zoe

      Although I will say, God did need Jesus to die. Like oil and water, we could not mix with him until we were atoned for. God is all capable, but he is all just. And his ways are above our ways. Jesus did need to die in order for us to have eternity in union with God. After all, God created a universe where for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction… we separated ourselves from God and yes, Jesus in all His glory, divinity, and sinless DID have to die in order for us to be atoned for.

      • Naomi

        Yes Zoe, you are right! Jesus DID need to die because God’s holiness could not tolerate our un-atoned sin. Our condition (sin) is directly opposed to God’s character (purity, holiness). Sorry Lana, but that is false doctrine that Jesus didn’t need to die. The death of Christ accomplished reconciliation, or reconnecting us back to God. Romans 3:25 says, “…whom God Set forth as a propitiation” for our sins. Propitiation literally means “something that appeases a deity” also “a reconciliation by blood.” But in the Biblical sense it it means much more than that. It also means “to forgive” or to “show mercy.” As sinners we are transgressors of God’s law and cannot co-exist with Him. The Bible says that Jesus IS the propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2; 4:10). Passover reminds us of the blood that was applied to the door posts so that the Angel of Death would pass over those who were covered. Sacrifices were made for thousands of years based upon the promise of a coming Lamb of God who would become the Ultimate Sacrifice. I love the words of the Steve Green song, “Broken and spilled out just for love of me Jesus; God’s most precious treasure lavished on me…”

        • Zoe

          Thank you for sharing this! I didn’t realize the depth of the meaning of “propitiation”!

    • Naomi

      Jesus DID need to die, because God’s holiness could not tolerate our un-atoned sin. Our condition (sin) is directly opposed to God’s character (purity, holiness). Sorry Lana, but that is false doctrine that Jesus didn’t need to die. The death of Christ accomplished reconciliation, or reconnecting us back to God. Romans 3:25 says, “…whom God Set forth as a propitiation” for our sins. Propitiation literally means “something that appeases a deity” also “a reconciliation by blood.” But in the Biblical sense it it means much more than that. It also means “to forgive” or to “show mercy.” As sinners we are transgressors of God’s law and cannot co-exist with Him. The Bible says that Jesus IS the propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2; 4:10). Passover reminds us of the blood that was applied to the door posts so that the Angel of Death would pass over those who were covered. Sacrifices were made for thousands of years based upon the promise of a coming Lamb of God who would become the Ultimate Sacrifice. I love the words of the Steve Green song, “Broken and spilled out just for love of me Jesus; God’s most precious treasure lavished on me…”

    • Alisa

      Thank you for rambling then . I appreciate your insight.

  • I was struck this morning by the mocking at the cross- don’t you think that if Jesus had removed himself from that cross when they were mocking him that they would have believed he was a divinity?! I’m sure they would have. But getting people to believe in God was not the end goal for Jesus on the cross. He died so that we can have a relationship with God. That is what God desires from us- relationship!

  • I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit and trembles at my word. Is. 66:2. To tremble at God’s word. This stopped me and caused me to think about how easy it is to take reading God’s word in so many forms–including this site–as something I take for granted. As demonstrated on the cross, God’s word is powerful enough to erase our sins and His wrath–and to conquer death. “It is finished.” It’s a sobering truth to know that the words we read are HIS. The almighty King of Kings. And their ours to read and find strength, guidance, hope, truth, identity–and salvation. Wow. Just wow.

  • Nothing can separate ❤

  • Timing …. God’s timing versus my own. There are so many times that I speak, react or move on something long before I should and the impact of my actions is far less because I simply could not wait. That was so true for the majority of my marriage prior to my husband’s salvation and even still, I have to stop myself when parenting, to remember that appropriate discipline, hard as it is, *is* great love. Jesus hung on that cross being mocked, listening to folks telling Him, “If you are the Son of God, step down…” and yet, He said nothing to them, He hung. While stepping off that cross completely would have stopped those mockers in their tracks, it would only be temporary and God knew this, He knew that defeat would only come through death, through destruction, through His time, not theirs, His way, not ours. He waited. He endured. He hung. How many times, I cut short the miracles in my life or the opportunities God can work out because I am simply too impatient to wait?! And yet, Jesus … I am so thankful today for a Savior that waited, for a Savior that understood the calling was greater than the circumstance, who knew that enduring meant saving and who loved His mockers so greatly that He hung quietly, patiently, painfully so that He could ensure even their salvation, if they would just dare to believe. And He knew that there was no hope of genuine belief if the miracle fell short and He simply stepped down from the Cross. He had to die so that our wretched hearts would see, so that there would be hope, so that we would be saved from even ourselves. His death was and is an execution of calamity itself, it is a Win, a transcendent victory over sin. Today, my prayer is that I walk out my gratitude to God, to Christ for His immeasurable sacrifice, that I remember in harsh circumstances that I can endure because Jesus did, that I practice silencing sin and my enemy by holding my tongue when I should, by living out God’s timing versus my own and by not insisting on my own way. Today, I am humbled by the cross, thankful that I don’t live in it’s shadow but because of Christ I live at the foot of it, washed by His blood, victorious over rebellion because of it and resurrected myself by the triumph that IS today. Good Friday is hard, it is humbling, it is painful but oh my gosh, is it ever Good!

    • DebbieinAZ

      Amen! Well said B. Have a blessed day and a Happy Easter to all.

    • Emily B.

      “I am so thankful today for a Savior that waited, for a Savior that understood the calling was greater than the circumstance, who knew that enduring meant saving and who loved His mockers so greatly that He hung quietly, patiently, painfully so that He could ensure even their salvation, if they would just dare to believe.” Wow. Love this and everything else you wrote today. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • So can we be so bold as to say that if we aren’t living the joy, peace and forgiveness that God provided through the cross, then Jesus died in vain? I’ve never looked at it like that before….

    • Tara

      I think about this too, and am convicted by it. Jesus died so that we may not only have life, but have it to the fullest.

  • O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
    Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
    How pale art Thou with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
    Oh how Your face bends solemn, which once was bright as morn!

    Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,
    Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.
    Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life; Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.

    You bled by our hands, You bled!

    My burdens You have carried, my sins you have borne,
    For it was my transgression which brought this worldly scorn.
    I cast me down before Thee, wrath – my rightful lot;
    But You have sweet mercy, Redeemer by the cross.

    You bled by our hands, You bled for me, for you, for us!

    (Lyrics to Page CXVI’s version of “O Sacred Head Now Wounded. On repeat this season!!)

    • Tochi Heredia

      I was humming this song after reading the passage in Matthew ❤

  • candacejo

    Love this. I wrote something so similar today and called it The Friday that was Good. Even though it is hard to imagine the pain that our Lord and Savior experienced, had it not been for that pain we would not have Resurrection Sunday to look forward to. So thankful the veil was torn in two that we would have access to the King of Kings. http://www.hopeinthehealing.com/2017/04/03/friday-that-was-good/

    • ~ B ~

      “We do not have to be in a building to worship God.” Yeeeeessss! We can worship Him, anywhere and anytime. I don’t want to be a Sunday lover of the Lord …. I desire to worship Him in all ways, all days! Love to you, friend. Happy Easter. Enjoy that precious babe!

    • Fancy

      Thank you for your writing on Good Friday. It was so good! Blessings!!!

  • Churchmouse

    God would go to any length to keep His Word. He would die in my place on the cross to keep His promises. I, on the other hand, am often so fickle. My attempts to be trustworthy so often fall short. I am ashamed of my weakness and amazed at His strength. Today I fall to my knees before the cross and I gaze long and hard at the suffering face of Jesus. I am so humbled. Oh how He loves me.

    • k~

      “He would die”… thank you for these words today. I find myself struggling at times with how a Good Father could sacrifice His own son, but yours words were the gentle reminder I needed that God gave himself up. Blessed Trinity. Thank you…

  • Yesterday my BSF leader said this, “the death of Jesus was a triumph not a tragedy.” She discussed exactly what Amanda and Barnabas are saying this morning. I love when my studies coincide with each other.

    The events of the crucifixion are excruciatingly painful to read. It’s hard to see today as good if that’s our focus. I pray, as I focus on the crucifixion, I find a balance of acknowledging the pain Christ endured BUT being incredibly thankful for the victory accomplished that day! The Veil is torn and I am welcomed in as a child of God! Thank you Jesus for your love and sacrifice for us! You are triumphant!

    • Emily B.

      I like what you pointed out about having a balance between acknowledging the pain and the joy of Good Friday. That’s my hope for today, as well. :)

    • Lizzieb85

      It’s nice to see a fellow BSFer! I’m greatly appreciating how these two studies are coinciding right now.

  • I feel a need to be so still and quiet today, just contemplating what happened on this day. The horror of the crucifixion is something I can’t bear to even think about. I can’t imagine the grief and fear felt by Jesus’ followers. But, I know the rest of the story and even though this day has such grief and horror in it, there is also such a feeling of the world holding its breath with expectation.
    I always listen to this short, three-minute sermon on Good Friday. “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin'”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gx6_rGLz20

    • Lehua

      Thank you so much for sharing that video, Kathy. It sheds so much light and hope on the fact that it didn’t end at the cross that Friday… Sunday’s coming. Amen!

    • Rochelle Walker

      Thanks for the video, Kathy.

    • Sherri

      Kathy, thank you for sharing that video. It’s Friday…..But Sunday is coming! Amen

    • ~ B ~

      I love that sermon, I was lucky enough to hear that sermon live at a church in California in the 90s, I will never forget that sermon, it has stuck with me since.

  • This is the best day the LORD hath made… let us rejoice and be glad!

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