My memory of Good Friday as a child was just a day in which my Dad got to be off work and in which we’d have to get groceries at the Village Pantry if we needed them, because other stores were closed.
Nowadays, few places close down on this day, and many churches don’t have a service of any kind. If you are like I was as a kid, you may wonder what Good Friday is even about, aside from a mark on the calendar before we pull out Easter Eggs.
What is it about this day that sets it off as sacred? What is it about the day that makes it “Good”?
Good Friday Remembers A Purchase Made
There are 40+ million slaves in the world today (that’s more than ever in history), and 1 in 4 are children. Imagine you are a slave child, prescribed a life of forced labor- unless you can pay the redemption price of $165 dollars- more than you could collect in a lifetime. You hate your life. You had no chance of ever being free.
Now imagine you were one of the children that International Justice Mission frees from slavery every year. How would you feel to have them pay for you the price of your redemption and help you start over?
This is a small glimpse of the transaction that took place over 2000 years ago for you and me. The one that is remembered on Good Friday.
Sold As Slaves
You may have heard people talking about “being saved” and thought- saved from what? That is just what the Jewish people of Jesus’s day were thinking when he told them they needed to be set free.
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave[b] to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. Matthew 8:34-36
You see, no one can escape the reality that they have- at least once- thought, said, or done something that displeased God, whether it was a selfish thought, a prideful boast, a gossiping remark, a hateful glare, a “little white lie,” a jealous glance, or something else.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
Liberated To Live For Today?
You may feel liberated to do whatever you desire, take what you want from life, and make the most of every moment. You may feel that life is just this moment, and you have to live it up- whatever you choose at whatever cost to anyone else. And this, you feel, makes you free.
16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,[c] you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16
And so, according to the Bible, preserved better than any book in all of history and the living, active Word of God, you are a slave.
The Price of Your Redemption
What is the price of your redemption?
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
The punishment for sin is death. Eternal death. Forever separation from God and all that is good. None of us live up to God’s standard of perfection:
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
The ransom price is the life of One- the only One- who never sinned
knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19
Nothing else would suffice.
he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining[b] eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12b)
Your Redemption Price Was Paid On Good Friday
The day we remember the act of God paying His own price for your redemption is Good Friday. We remember how Jesus payed the price for your freedom and mine. He paid the cost so we could have a clean conscience before God. So we could be forgiven of all that we have done that dishonors Him. So that we could be free to live a life that honors Him!
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God! (Hebrews 9:14)
He paid the price so we could know God now and forever.
Freed To Know God Now and Forever
God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23) is a gift of relationship. Jesus defined it like this:
3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
Jesus purchased for us freedom. Freedom from slavery to sin. Freedom to live for God. Freedom to live our fullest, best life.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.- Jesus (John 10:10)
This abundant life- a life lived for God’s glory, knowing Him and making Him known, is the purchase we remember on Good Friday.
The cost was perfection and a complete sacrifice- a price none of us could pay.
Christ’s death on the cross conquered death for us- so that we could know what true life is- so that we can truly live and enjoy our best life every day.
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Photo by Christoph Schmid on Unsplash
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