Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus was nailed to a cross on a Friday during Passover and died. It seemed like the end of a dream for his followers, who believed he would change the world.
Yet this week Christians from around the world will celebrate the event with a holiday known as Good Friday. As non-Christians look at the event, though, it may raise the question, “What’s good about the death of Jesus?”
Here are four reasons why Christians can consider the death of Jesus to be “good.”
It pleased God. Isaiah 53 predicts the sacrifice Jesus would make, bearing the punishment for our sins even though he had done no wrong. Then in 53:10 it says, “Yet the LORD was pleased to crush him severely.” (HCSB) This seems like a wrong thing for God to be pleased by, but He had some good reasons.
It served justice. Because all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, they have to be punished. With his death on the cross, Jesus took on all those sins and paid the penalty for all who are willing to follow him.
It fixed a broken relationship. When Adam and Eve sinned, it broke the fellowship God longed to have with His creation. When Jesus paid the punishment for our sins, it restored the path for us to have fellowship with God again, which is why He was pleased by the death of His son.
Death wasn’t permanent. The followers of Jesus didn’t know it at the time (although Jesus had told them it would happen) but Jesus’ death was only temporary. He was sealed in a grave on Friday, but by Sunday morning he was alive and free from the bonds of death. That gave an entirely new perspective on his death. What had seemed to be awful on Friday suddenly became good when viewed in light of his resurrection.
While having nails hammered into his hands and feet didn’t make for a very good Friday for Jesus, it did turn out to be not only a good Friday, but a great Friday for those who believe in him.