What’s so “good” about Good Friday?!

This morning we “celebrated” Good Friday at the PCO (Protestant Church of Oman).  A lot of people wonder each year, “Why on earth is it called Good Friday if it commemorates the crucifixion of Christ?”  As one email I received this week (from the lead singer of Apologetix, J. Jackson) stated, “If you were a disciple of Jesus the day He was crucified, I guarantee that you wouldn’t have thought that Friday was good. It was the worst day ever — not just for them but for mankind itself.  If God can take the worst thing man ever did (crucifying His sinless Son) and turn it into the best news man ever heard (salvation for whosoever calls on His name), think about what He can do with our own worst experiences.”  Exactly, Jackson! As he goes on to explain, Good Friday is the ultimate example of Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”                                                                                                                                                                              Here’s a list of upcoming services at the PCO this Easter Sunday:

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”  1 Peter 3: 18.  
It’s historical fact that Jesus Christ suffered. 
But the idea that His suffering was necessary-that He had to suffer-has often been the subject of scorn from those who have criticized and ridiculed Christianity. 
It’s also what sets Christianity apart.
Muslims, for example, show respect for the person of Christ-
– but see the cross of Christ as a stumbling block and regard the atonement as foolishness. 
Oxford scholar Alfred Heir called Christianity-
– “the worst of all because it rests on the idea of a suffering Saviour and a substitutionary atonement, which is intellectually contemptible and morally outrageous.” 
As followers of Jesus-
– we embrace His cross. 
We sing songs like “On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame.” 
This divergent thinking perfectly illustrates 1 Corinthians 1:18: 
“The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 
So why was the cross essential? 
Why couldn’t He have skipped the suffering and just died for us? 
1 John 4:10 says:
“This is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the payment for our sin.” 
The key word is payment. 
The Bible explains this payment in many different ways: 
He died to give us life. 1 John 5:11.
He died to bring us to God. 1 Peter 3:18.
He died, the righteous for the unrighteous. 1 Peter 3:18.
He died for our sins. Hebrews 9:26.
He died to save us. Romans 10:9.
He died to give us eternal life. John 3:16.
It wasn’t enough for Him to die.
He had to pay a debt. 
His payment was made to satisfy the demands of God’s anger.
Peace with God is the absence of anger. 
As much as God loves you-
He hates your sin with a holy, burning passion beyond comprehension. 
The only way He could embrace you was to make someone else pay for your sins. 
It couldn’t be just anyone.
It had to be someone perfect. 
Since we’re all sinners, He came Himself. 
That’s the whole gospel. 
Hear it again for the first time: 
You can be forgiven and washed clean. 
But God couldn’t do that lightly. 
He couldn’t say, “Oh, I see your sin, but never mind.” 
Someone had to pay for our sins. 
It was Jesus. 
He willingly suffered and died on the cross and God, somehow in His infiniteness, laid all of our sinfulness there upon His Son.
“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. (from My Manna
Three lovely ladies sang “If That Isn’t Love” at church this morning, but unfortunately I failed to bring my camera/camcorder.  Click on the song title in the previous sentence to hear Elvis singing it!  
 Happy Easter, everyone!  🙂
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