Remembering Good Friday

Good Friday, to many, is a day off, but to me and to many other Christians, Good Friday is the day to remember the beginning of our hope, and a remembrance of the day that he who was God suffered at the hands for man for the souls of all people. But what is this death? Almost everyone knows that Christians believe that Jesus died, and was buried, and is believed to have rose again on the third day, but that mere description does not fully convey what happened on Good Friday to the one who is our saviour, Jesus.

Jesus underwent spiritual and physical agony. I cannot describe the agony that Christ endured, not many can, but doctors can begin to convey the agony that Christ had to endure:

As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.

Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. [1]

Crucifixion was one of the most painful, if not the most painful form of capital punishment. Even more than the physical torment Christ went through, Jesus went through spiritual torment. How devastating would it be if your best friend suddenly, and without warning, never talked to you again? How much more when Jesus, who had been forever in perfect union with God, feels the wrath of God as Jesus’ own soul became covered in the blackness of our, of my sin. Yes, I contributed to that blackness that stained the heart of God incarnate.

Good Friday is the day that God was defeated, a day that Satan, for one short period, overcame the one who was God and saw the Father forsake the Son. Yet, we call this day “good.” Why? This Friday is “good,” not because God was defeated for a short while, but because this day lay the groundwork for God’s victory, a victory which has brought to potential of salvation to each and every person. This Friday is “good” because, while Christ fell, he also took the sins of the world and became the propitiation, the atoning sacrifice, for our sin. This Friday is “good” because the wrath of God was satisfied through the death of one perfect individual. This Friday is “good” because I stand redeemed as a result.

This day may be a day off, but even more it is a day to remember that two millennia ago, our salvation was made possible through the death of Jesus Christ.

References:

[1] http://www.thecross-photo.com/Dr_C._Truman_Davis_Analyzes_the_Crucifixion.htm

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