Betrayed, bound, abandoned, denied, mocked, beaten, disrespected, slapped, struck, falsely accused, blasphemed, treated with contempt, whipped, shamed, insulted, and crucified.
And yet, it was on Friday that Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” Perfect justice, holiness, and love cried out, “Forgive!” even as He was in physical and emotional torment.
It was on Friday that salvation and eternal life came to the criminal. The same criminal who had only shortly before taunted Jesus along with the crowds. With the reality of his own guilt and impending death he humbly made one request, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” To which Jesus responded, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)
It was on Friday that Jesus said, “teleō” which is translated as “It is finished.” Please, take a moment to click this link and read the meaning of this word, trust me when I say it’s more than worth it to help you have a deeper understanding of Jesus meant.
It was on Friday that the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Mark 15:38). Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for us, guilty and deserving of God’s wrath and judgment, to be forgiven and made righteous before Him.
But He was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. (Isaiah 53:5)
Consider the truth of that verse with these words:
Jesus was pierced because of my rebellion, crushed because of my iniquities; punishment for my peace was on Him, and I am healed by His wounds.
Yes, yes this is the truth and I have embraced it. First in sorrow, regret, mourning, and awe for the sufferings that He willingly bore on my behalf and now still with humble thanksgiving and awe. May my awe never fade at His immeasurable love.
On Friday, Jesus gave up His Spirit and His flesh died. His death made the way to present you as holy, faultless, and blameless before Him (Colossians 1:22). It was through His death that He made a way for those who believe in Him to be free from their slavery of the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Friday was filled with evil, suffering, and mourning and yet it was also when God did His greatest miracle. It was on Friday that a way was made where there was no way. It was on Friday when the living One surrendered His life so that the hopelessly dead might live through and in Him. To all eyes, Friday was a day of defeat. Friday was the day where it appeared as if evil reigned. But, we know better, just as the criminal who died and went that very day to be with Jesus in paradise. That Friday was not a day of defeat. It was the day of the ultimate victory, not simply in spite of evil but actually as a result of the evil that took place.
For those of you who feel like you’re trapped living in Friday, know that the sufferings you’re going through are not a hindrance to the plan of God. In fact, as our pastor, John said, “God does some of His greatest work in the dark.” Strengthen your heart, hold onto Him who sees all, and follow Him in love and obedience, trusting that He knows where He’s leading you.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 CSB
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me. Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of Yahweh as long as I live. (Psalm 23:4,6)