Yesterday someone asked, “Why do they call it Good Friday? Why don’t they call it Bad Friday?” I responded, “It is the most excellent Friday.” Why did I say that?
The day Jesus died on the cross was the day I was delivered from death and the wrath of God that I deserve, and every physical ailment, and every affliction of my heart.
When Jesus prayed in the garden, facing his sorrow, facing his great temptation, choosing obedience though it took every ounce of his will, he set me free from mental anguish. He set an example that I can follow because he lives in me. Jesus knows my pain. He has suffered more than I ever will. Anything I could ever worry about or be hurt by, he already knows. He has already provided the solution.
When Jesus stood before Pilate and refused to defend himself, he showed tremendous self-restraint and humility. When he placed himself in the hands of sinners and refused to escape, refused to even lash out at them, suffering in silence their torment and insults, he empowered me to seek God’s kingdom and will instead of my own preservation. Because he lives in me, I can turn the other cheek, I can wait on the Lord to repay any wrong.
When Jesus refused to display his power because it was not the Father’s will, he gave me patience to wait on the Lord’s timing.
When Jesus accepted the flogging, the crown of thorns, the blows and the pulling out of his beard, he paid the price for my sins and took my just consequences on himself.
By his stripes I was healed. As he bore every sickness, disease, oppression, and infirmity, he removed the authority of the devil to afflict me. Pain has no place in me now.
O great love, hung on the cross, blood flowing, nerves screaming, head pounding, struggling for breath, still giving, still thinking of others, still forgiving and loving to your very last breath. O Jesus, Lamb of God, slain for sinners, slain for me. Oh great faith, knowing you would be raised again, knowing that everything would be changed by your death. O Jesus, tearing the veil that separated me from God, I can never thank you enough for this most excellent Friday.