I wondered how something so sad, like the death of a righteous man on a cross could be called “good”. It seems that it should be called “sad” or “disappointing” based on the way the disciples of Jesus must have felt on that day.
Can you picture it? The one you had counted on who was going to rescue you from Rome; the hope of the Jewish people who would change the way religion was done, was now hanging on a cross – suffering the same fate as thieves and other law-breakers. How can that be good?
The events of that original Friday would have been justifiably the saddest day in the lives of the disciples if another promised event had not taken place on the Sunday that followed. The victory of the cross over sin and death was climaxed by the resurrection. Without the resurrection it would not have been a victory at all – not then and not now. And the church of Christ would not have survived into the 21st century.
The apostle Paul said several things about resurrection:
I Cor. 15:13-17,32
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
The empty tomb sealed the deal. Death could not hold Jesus down. And it doesn’t have to hold you down – His resurrection opened the way for us, a door into life – not only in the future, but right here and right now.
In a sense, what happened on Friday of that first “Easter” weekend needs to happen in each of our lives, in order for it’s intended purpose to benefit us. A personal “crucifixion” has to take place:
Gal. 2:20a – “I am crucified with Christ:” says the apostle Paul.
I hadve to die to myself to come to Christ. Everyone of us who has had a true conversion experience has to come to this conclusion: there is nothing I can do to save myself, to get myself right with God; Jesus did that for me on the cross – He made a way for me to get right with God.
Thank God, Jesus was raised from the dead! And because of His resurrection, I too can share in that resurrected life:
Gal. 2:20: “ . . . nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (KJV)
I don’t have to wait until I die physically to experience a resurrection. When I died to myself at the foot of the cross of Jesus, accepting His sacrifice for my sins and giving up doing it on my own, He raised me up spiritually. I have already been resurrected in Him. Now I am truly alive – and the life I live is His life in me.
The challenge for all of us is to reckon that we are dead to the old ways and now are freed to live in the light of the resurrection – for
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old is gone, the new is here.” 2 Cor. 5:17
That’s what is good about “Good Friday” – it had in view what was to come, and paved the way for us to be able to walk in the light and power of the resurrection, right here, right now.
Are you experiencing resurrection life?
The message of resurrection life is captured in a song from one of my music CD’s. Hope you enjoy it:
©2011, Marcy Alves, revised 2015