It’s Friday but Sunday is coming!
A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his was in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
I have always thought it interesting that we call Friday before Easter “Good Friday.” That day was far from good for the family, friends and disciples of Jesus. It was on this day, following Pilate’s pronouncement that Jesus was innocent of all crimes, that the people rose up and called for Him to be crucified. I can’t imagine the fear mixed with disbelief that the disciples must have felt as they watched all of this unfold. Why was this happening?
Peter, having denied Jesus three times the day before, must have been so conflicted as he thought back to when Jesus said, “that it was necessary for the Son of Man to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and rise after three days” (Mark 8:31). Peter had taken Him aside and said that would never happen, but Jesus said that it must.
Jesus experienced the full wrath of God poured out on Him. The reality of our plight is that as a sinner, our sins must be paid for. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death,” what we earn and deserve for our sin is our death. The problem is that we don’t want to die, no one does. However, payment must be made for the debt that we have accrued from our sin. Someone must pay. Jesus, who loves you, suffered and died in order to be the final sacrifice needed to satisfy the wrath of God.
He made this sacrifice in order to make a way for you and me to be made right before God and to bring great glory to God. For me, what is particularly special, is that He did this even while I was a sinner (Romans 5:8). When we trust in His work instead of our own, we are saved (Romans 10:9).
So, if Jesus isn’t paying for your sins, who is? John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” Jesus bore the full weight of the sins of the world, yours and mine, and suffered and died in our place. We should have been the ones to die, but He stepped in and did it for us. He died for us, so that we could live for Him and have the gift of eternal life.
Do you struggle with sin? Do you know that if you repent of your sins, believe what Jesus has done for you, and confess that He is Lord, He will not only forgive your sins but forget them?