GOOD FRIDAY | Bryce Sullivan
Today Christians everywhere commemorate one of the most marvelous events in history’s past and eternity’s future, the crucifixion—the death—of Jesus, the Messiah. What a marvel, what a wonder! It is at the same time among the worst and the greatest events of all time. It counts among the worst because it was the result of a conspiracy to kill the God-man, Jesus, and yet it was the greatest because of the awesome things Christ accomplished in his death. In a state of humble obedience to God the Father, Jesus gave all. On that day, on Good Friday, God showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:28).
Christ’s death was an atoning death. He atoned for our sins. That means he made amends for all our many failures. We often fall short of the mark, but Christ made up for our deficiencies. Even though we were previously estranged and separated from God, through Christ’s death on the cross we can have peace with God. Peace with God is no small thing, and it took the sacrifice of the Son of God to achieve it. More than that, however, it takes personal faith in Christ to enjoy it. All who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ can be assured peace with God that is beyond all human understanding.
In today’s world, it appears that the person and work of Jesus Christ have become almost commonplace, and the finished work of Christ’s atonement is often taken for granted by Christians. How can that be? The atoning death of the Lord of Glory is never to be regarded merely as a historical artifact. Redemption has been accomplished! In the grand story of Scripture, God reveals the salvation of His people. This story is punctuated by our Savior’s cry recorded in John 19:30, “It is finished.”
Good Friday is so very good because it marks the day when Christ, a friend of sinners, finished His perfect work of atonement. There is nothing to be added to it. Christ’s work on the cross is indeed a mission accomplished.
DR. BRYCE SULLIVAN
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences