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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Good Friday

Tomorrow is Good Friday. It's the day we recognize every year for the day Christ died. Good Friday.

Think about what was included in that. On "Good Friday" the perfect, sinless Son of God was tortured and executed by His creation. On that day Jesus hung on a tree of His own making (John 1:3) after being betrayed by a kiss from one of His own disciples (Luke 22:47-48). He was placed there by His own created beings (Col 1:16-17) under the authority that He established (Rom 13:1). A "good" day? Really? He underwent more physical torment than we can imagine, but the only time He is recorded as "crying out" was when His own Father forsook Him (Matt 27:46). (Note: The word "excruciating" has its roots in the Latin for "cross." That is, the cross defines "excruciating.") "Good" Friday? Really??

Well, it isn't called "Good Friday" because of what He went through. It isn't because of the injustice, the hatred, the torture, the pain, the loss. We all know that it is Good Friday because of the result. He died -- willingly -- so that we might be saved. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph 1:7). He reconciled to Himself all things, making peace by the blood of His cross (Col 1:20). We know this, so we call it "good."

We know, also, that none of it happened by accident. It wasn't just good; it was the plan. Without exonerating Judas's sin, Jesus said, "The Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!" (Luke 22:22). Thus, Judas's betrayal was part of what had been determined, but Judas was still on the hook for His betrayal. Jesus was executed by "Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel" who did "whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place" (Acts 4:27-28). It was the plan. So it was good.

Every Good Friday we pause to remember what Christ suffered, yes, but also what He accomplished on that cross. It is good to do so. That's why we call it Good Friday. But I want to ask you to consider something more. If the worst event in the history of Earth -- the torture and murder by humans of the sinless Son of God -- can be called "good" for any reason at all -- if God could have actually planned all that and used it for ultimate good -- is it remotely possible that the things you suffer and the problems you face could be part of a plan that God intends for your good? Just consider it.

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