“When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside. He sat down on the judge’s seat in a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Aramaic, Gabbatha). t was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about noon. Then he told the Jews, ‘Here is your king!’ They shouted, ‘Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Should I crucify your king?’ ‘We have no king but Caesar!’ the chief priests answered. Then he handed him over to be crucified.” ~John 19:13-16
“We may say that on the first Good Friday afternoon was completed that great act by which light conquered darkness and goodness conquered sin. That is the wonder of our Saviour’s crucifixion. There have been victories all over the world, but wherever we look for the victor we expect to find him with his heel upon the neck of the vanquished. The wonder of Good Friday is that the victor lies vanquished by the vanquished one. We have to look deeper into the very heart and essence of things before we can see how real the victory is that thus hides under the guise of defeat.” ~Phillips Brooks
The day had come. After three years of public ministry and one last very eventful week, the moment had come for Jesus to give up his life. What we celebrate at Christmastime with gifts, festivities, and great joy – the birth of the Messiah – had all led up to this. But the feel is different than that of Christmas morning. We don’t sing songs on this day, what has commonly become known as “Good Friday”. We don’t exchange gifts, admire special decorations, or speak of “good tidings of great joy”. Truly, the day just doesn’t really feel all that good.
Especially when you read the account of all that happened to Jesus on this so-called good day.
But that is precisely what we have to remember – this truly was (and is!) a good day! As we read the full account of all that Christ endured on this day, we are horrified – and rightfully so. It’s barbaric, it’s tortuous, it’s bloody. But what it led to, what it resulted in, is what caused it to be a good day.
We can look back on that historical Friday and stop and ponder on Good Friday of this year, nearly two thousand years removed, and believe it was, in fact, a good day. Because it is the very day the Lord secured freedom, salvation, hope, and eternal life for us, all at once. As Jesus said in His final moment of life while on the cross, “It is finished.” (see John 19:30).
All those things we have seen women of the Bible yearn for and strive to find – all those very same things we are on a quest for ourselves! – can be and are fulfilled in Christ, as a result of what He secured for us on the cross. He secured salvation for us – no longer do we have to be on a quest for love or acceptance. He secured an identity for us – no longer do we have to wonder who we are or seek to “discover” ourselves.
He secured a purpose for us – no longer do we have to wonder why we were born or strive for impact in our everyday lives. He secured love for us – no longer do we have to strive to earn love or despair over our seeming lack of it. He secured an eternal family for us – no longer do we have to strive for relationship. He secured fulfillment for us – no longer do we have to strive to look for someone or something who will fill us up. He secured rest for us – no longer do we have to work ourselves to the bone as if we are employees of God; we can rest in His grace as beloved children of God.
All of this and more was secured for us on the cross on that very good Friday all those years ago. If it weren’t for what happened on Good Friday, we would not be able to find in Christ the fulfillment we long for in our lives. That, my friend, is why we are able to call such a dark, sad, anguish-filled day “good”. May that serve as a daily reminder for you of how God can and does bring immense good out of everything. He did it then, and He is always doing it still today.
Read through all of John 19 and Isaiah 53 to fully grasp and understand not only all that Jesus went through and willingly endured out of immense and deep love for you. Meditate on the implications of His love.
Lord, it is absolutely horrific all that You endured on my behalf on the cross. You endured the same, pain, torture, and ridicule so willingly, and all for me, so that I might always live with You. Thank You for this love. I can’t even fathom it, but I thank You that it is mine. Help me to walk out the rest of my life in light of Your love for me. Help me to find my joy, my purpose, my fulfillment, and my identity in this love. And may it make a difference in how I love others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Rebekah Hargraves is a wife, homeschooling mama of two littles, blogger, podcaster, and author whose passion is to edify, equip, and encourage women in their journey of biblical womanhood, particularly with an emphasis on the gospel and its implications for everyday life. Rebekah’s first book Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them) released the fall of 2017, and the Lies Moms Believe the Companion Bible Study came out the following spring. Since then, Rebekah has written Advent and Lent devotional studies for women, co-authored a book on walking by the Spirit and living the Spirit-filled life, and most recently co-authored a book on friendship. When she isn’t busy homeschooling, writing, or podcasting, you can find her with her nose buried in a book, drinking copious amounts of tea and coffee, and listening to Celtic music. You can reach out to Rebekah on her website Hargraves Home and Hearth, on Instagram @rebekahhargraves, or on iTunes via The Home and Hearth podcast. She would love to hear from you!