Good Friday

Rick Renner is a writer who finds the words Good Friday ironic.  They are good only for us.  For Christ it was quite different.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar,
he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
John 19:30

The Cross of Jesus Christ is the most precious emblem to those of us who call Jesus the Lord of our lives. We love the Cross and cherish it because of the price that was paid 2,000 years ago when Jesus died for our sins. The Cross represents our forgiveness, our freedom, our redemption. We love it so much that we adorn our churches and homes with crosses, and women even wear them around their necks. But when the pure Lamb of God hung on that Cross we deem so precious – naked, beaten, and bleeding profusely before a watching world – it was a ghastly sight. Indeed, it was the most horrendous moment in human history.

No death was more scandalous than death on a cross. Such a death was dreadful and hideous, designed to discredit and tarnish the memory of the one dying. Blood drenched Jesus’ torso, pouring from His head and brow, running like rivers from the deeply torn flesh in His hands and feet. The effect of the scourging that Jesus had received in Pilate’s palace began to take its toll as His body swelled up and became horribly discolored. His eyes were matted with the blood that poured from the wounds in His brow – wounds caused by the crown of thorns that bore down into His skull as the soldiers pushed it hard upon His head. The whole scene was ugly, unsightly, repulsive, sickening, vile, foul, and revolting.

In the Jewish world, nakedness was a particularly profound shame. Because the body was made in the image of God, the Jewish people believed it was a great dishonor to display a naked body. So as if Jesus’ suffering had not already been enough, He experienced the ultimate act of degradation and shame as He hung on the Cross, naked and exposed before all those who watched the unfolding drama.

Approximately 700 years earlier, the prophet Isaiah correctly prophesied Jesus’ appearance on the Cross. In Isaiah 52:14, the prophet wrote with a sense of horror, “As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” In Isaiah 53:2, Isaiah continued, “…He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”

Jesus had been put through horrendous forms of torture and had been atrociously abused and battered. As a result, “…His face and His whole appearance were marred more than any man’s and His form beyond that of the sons of men…” (Isaiah 52:14 AMP). In the New International Version, this verse is translated to say, “…His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.…”

In Isaiah 53:3-5, Isaiah continued to vividly describe Jesus’ sacrifice. He wrote, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Today is Good Friday.  We will remember what the day was like for Jesus at noon today in our Good Friday service.  If you cannot make it, please take a moment of silence to remember what this day was like for Jesus.  It is not pleasant but it is true.


Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

%d bloggers like this: