Why do we call it Good Friday? He had been up all night. His friends had deserted Him. His followers were asleep. They had no idea of what was happening. They arrested Jesus late at night, then the trials started and went through the night. They did all they could to have people lie to convict Jesus, but none could. The truth continued to come out. None of the liars could convict him. It was not until the high priest asked Jesus, “Are you the Messiah?” And Jesus answered, “I am” (Mark 14:60-62). The nightmare began.
He was flogged. This was a cat of nine tails that had pieces of sharp stone woven into the leather. It would literally rip the flesh off your body. The prophet Isaiah foretold of this moment:
See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness — (NIV)
The Roman soldiers were experts in torture. It was their full-time job. But it continued. They put a purple robe on him, blindfolded him, spit on him and pulled his beard out mocking Him to prophecy who had hit him (Luke 22:63-65). Pilate, the Roman authority in Jerusalem was warned by his wife. God gave her a dream and she told her husband to not hurt this man, Jesus. Pilate had hoped the abuse alone would be enough to satisfy the hungry crowd, but they wanted more. Could this really be a Good Friday?
Pilate evoked a custom of releasing a criminal at this time of the year and gave the crowd the choice between Jesus and a mangy murderer. They chose the murderer and cried out for Jesus’ death. He stood before the crowd so bloodied, so mangled from the flogging, He was the sacrificial lamb of God.
Driven through the streets of Jerusalem, carrying his own crossbeam, he struggled with each step. By now, His followers were awake and were appalled at what they were watching. Women wept at the horrific scene. Led outside the city, the Roman soldiers fastened his crossbeam forming a cross. They laid it down on the ground and Jesus on top. They tied His hands and feet, stretching His body opening His wounds over the rustic cross. They drove nails between the bones of His wrists all the way through the wood, then took their hammer and bent the end of the nail down onto the wood. Then they bent his knees slightly and placed one foot over the other, and pounded a nail down the top bones of the feet through the wood. A hole had been dug for the cross to sit in. They lifted the cross and the bottom slid to the bottom of the hole and stuck hard jarring his body. And He hung there.
The sky turned black as Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
He had become sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). God turned away (Habakkuk 1:13) and the darkness covered the Earth. Jesus hung, agony rushing through His body and forgiveness pouring out of His heart. Forgiving His enemies even as God turned His eyes. The Word became flesh and refused to fall into the temptation of hate or vengeance. He was conquering sin as they watched.
We live in His death (Philippians 3:10). He won us the privilege of receiving the power of the Holy Spirit to resist even as He resisted. Adam’s sin undone, our victory won. This is why we call it Good Friday.
Leave me a comment. What does Jesus’ crucifixion mean to you?
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!