The Significance of Good Friday

By Bindu Adai Mathew

Happy Good Friday, Everyone!  Today is a truly a good day… but around two thousand years ago, it didn’t seem like a good day to those alive, especially to those who were following Jesus and believing that He really was the son of God. In fact, it looked like the very opposite of a Good Friday. But today we all have the benefit of hindsight and the Bible, and we know that beneath the appearances of suffering and defeat, something much greater and wonderful was happening. Even though the people of that day couldn’t see it, Jesus was not dying but actually overcoming death on their and our behalf.

Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday are two of the core foundations of our Christian faith. As believers, we believe what the Bible says… that Jesus was the Son of God, born of a virgin, who lived a perfect life but bore all our sins on a cross and died, only to be resurrected a few days later so that we who believe in Him as our Savior, can have eternal life in Heaven with God. On Friday, we reflect on the ridicule and anguish he endured on our behalf. On Sunday, we celebrate, knowing we serve a Risen Savior! This is the foundation of our Christian faith.

But what we must not forget is that Jesus’s resurrection doesn’t just hold meaning for our lives after we die. His resurrection also has great meaning and significance to our daily lives. In John 10:10, God says:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV)

Jesus came not to only give us eternal life, but He wants us to enjoy and have victory over our present lives. His resurrection power knows no limits. He can resurrect people from the dead, but He can also resurrect dead dreams… dead relationships… deadened hearts.

So where are you struggling in your life?  Perhaps it is an unfulfilling job that feels monotonous and routine… or a job that you enjoy but somehow no matter how hard you work, you can’t seem to get that promotion or move ahead? Or perhaps it is an unfulfilled dream that is sitting on the shelf in your mind, gathering dust, as it fades further and further out of your grasp. Or perhaps it’s a relationship that is slowly disintegrating helplessly in your hands.

Well, let me challenge you today–let me remind you that He who overcame death also lives in you. That resurrection power lives within you! Get excited… meditate on that. And start living your live with that knowledge. And knowing that, also know that with God, nothing is impossible. Nothing.

We see this so clearly in the book of John 11:

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (NIV)

Even though Martha understood who Jesus was, even she didn’t expect Jesus to bring her brother back to life.   But this was Jesus’s response:

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 NIV)

So have you forgotten about God’s power? Has being a “Christian” just gotten so common and mundane that you forget the power that lives within you? Just as Jesus resurrected Lazarus even after he was dead and had been buried in the tomb for four days, so can He resurrect you. It doesn’t matter how long you have felt dead inside. He can bring you back to your joy… back to peace. He can resurrect your faith, your dreams, your relationships.

As you reflect on His death today, thank Jesus for his unselfish sacrifice. But get excited… for on Sunday, we celebrate! For He is risen! Because He lives, we, too, shall live in victory on earth as well as in Heaven.

Thank you, Jesus! You suffered and died so that we that we may live. The very blood you shed now flows through our spiritual veins so that we, too, can overcome death. We grieve for the pain our sins have caused you, we have infinite gratitude for your limitless love, and we celebrate and honor you for the loving, generous, forgiving God you are! For you are truly the Resurrection and the Life. Today is not just Good Friday… today is Great, Amazing Friday!  AMEN!

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