I have to admit that I emotionally feel conflicted about Good Friday.
Should I mourn at the high price paid for my forgiveness? Should I celebrate that my sins are forgiven? I believe it is appropriate to remain in the tension of both of these realities this day.
I mourn. In many ways, each Good Friday is like a Funeral for a Friend. He is my friend, for He is a Friend of Sinners. We often know the severity of the disease by the severity of the treatment. I look at the Cross with the crushed Son of God upon it, and I can no longer underestimate the gravity of my sin. If this is the only cure for my sin problem, my sin is hideous. And I cry. Yet, I unapologetically rejoice that I am healed and free. Ultimately, it was not my sin that brought Jesus to the Cross, but His love for me and you. He would rather die than to live without you and me for eternity. Remember, there is no nail big enough to hold the Son of God to a cross. His love held Him there. Although our sin is great, God’s grace is greater still! And I can’t help but rejoice.
I celebrate that “It is Finished!” Moments before His death on the cross, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the shofar (Ram’s Horn) blows in the Temple signaling that it is time for all the lambs that were ready for sacrifice to be slaughtered. Jesus hears these horns and yells out: “It is finished!” One word in Greek: tetelestai. It is finished. It’s over! The atonement is complete. The Scriptures are fulfilled. Sin is forgiven. The devil is defeated. He’s still active, of course, but he knows he is defeated and doomed. When Jesus says, ‘It is finished,’ over you, he breaks the jaw of the Accuser (Gen. 3:15). The practical aspect of all this is simple: There is nothing left to finish by a person. We can add nothing to the death of Christ. Remember His words tetelestai. It is finished. IT IS FINISHED!
So, my friends, live within the tension of Good Friday. Mourn and rejoice. Christ’s death was a crime of passion. But it wasn’t a crime of passion the way we often think of it. The crime was ours… and the passion was His. And the reality is that you are loved, forgiven, and free!
By Rev. Randy Duncan
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