Have you ever thought about what’s so good about Good Friday? What part of Good Friday is good? It isn’t the usual notion of nice or happy or comfortable when we think of Jesus’ long walk to the cross.
Jesus isn’t to be thought of as someone we delegated the role of “sacrificial lamb” to, as if it were our idea or something we might task to someone else. God asked Jesus to do it because there was no other alternative. It was love based request. And a love based response to the request. The depth of the request and the cost required a conscience sober decision. Sometimes I think people hear that God loves them with the gooey cherub love notion of a Valentines’ Day card. Rather, Jesus showed us his warrior love.
I wonder if God ever gets upset with people that believe there are many ways to heaven. In various polls, some Christians claim to believe there could be other ways for a “good” person to get to heaven. Really? If there was any other way for people to get into heaven, why would God have allowed Jesus to die as “an option.” Why would Jesus have said “no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). 1 Timothy 2:5 summarizes, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
When scripture says “all,.” It usually means “all.” When scripture says “except through Jesus,” we must be careful not to add in other exceptions. “My daughter is a really a good person and believes Jesus was a good person.” The Bible is very clear that goodness alone isn’t enough to get into heaven. Man’s sins required the sacrifice of a pure human. No one but Jesus could fulfill this. Period. God gave Jesus a choice. Jesus choose to die for us.
Good Friday was horrible for Jesus and everyone who loved him. Out of horrible suffering and death came something very good for us humans. Very good. At a horrible price. Good Friday is a day to reflect on the “cost” of what God turned for good. I am deeply grateful.