What’s so good about Friday?

Millions of Christians around the world tonight will pause and remember that 2000 years ago an assuming child was born. He grew up in an unassuming village as the son of a carpenter. This same boy would grow into a man and come onto the scene at a wedding in Cana. After that wedding in Cana he would go on to turn the religious establishment upon its head.

The the religious elite would respond by conspiring to have him eliminated, assassinated, crucified. You see nearly 2000 years ago this day they took this King down from his cross and laid him in a tomb. Hope had vanished. His followers hid. The world was dark. Satan rejoiced.

But then, there was that day, that Sunday. Friends went to an empty tomb and spoke with angels who gave them the news the continues to echo today: “HE IS NOT HERE. HE HAS RISEN!” You see the child was God in flesh, the God who became man, yet remained God. And this King, Jesus, returned to his throne and awaits the day that God will send him back to the earth to make all things right and to make all things new.

Several hundred years before Jesus’ birth the prophet Isaiah wrote the following words foretelling the drama that would unfold of Jesus’ arrest, beating, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.

From Isaiah 53.2-10, ESV
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.

When he was born no fuss was made. As he grew no one noticed. He came from a back woods village where Nobody’s come from. He was not a handsome man, he didn’t fit our ideal for a Warrior-King-Leader-Savior.

3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

We were ashamed of him and dismissed him when we turned our backs on him. No one wanted to be associated with the radical son of a carpenter.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

Yet, even though we turned our backs on him, he turned his heart towards ours. He put the unbearable weight of our sin on his back.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin, he knew that at a level we never will. He was beaten to a pulp and tortured and mocked, and whipped, then standing on death’s doorstep they stopped only to humiliate him on the cross. His pain was our healing. His suffering was our comfort.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray;we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

We are helpless, wandering, and naturally lean toward unfaithfulness. We have chosen our pathetic path over his perfect path. We spit in God’s face and turn our back to him screaming, “You’re wrong!” And because God embodies grace Jesus exchanged our sin for his perfectness to honor his Father.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,so he opened not his mouth.

Jesus had at his disposal legions of angels waiting in battle formation with baited breath and weapons drawn for the command; the words they wanted to hear him say: “Now!” With all this at his fingertips Jesus was silent. He set aside his authority to obey the Father, even to death on a cross, regardless of the cost.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

The establishment gave him a unjust trial and an unjust conviction. Hearts ached believing the lies that he was not the Son of God. Not the Messiah. Not Immanuel. Not Jesus. And so the people lost hope.

9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

He was treated like a violent career criminal though he had never done any wrong.

10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

And God let this happen. Not because he is unjust or loving, but because he is just and is loving. You see without the shedding of blood there will be no forgiveness of sin. No lamb could ever fully satisfy this requirement, it took a perfect, sinless God-Man Savior. It took Jesus.

“…then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57 ESV)

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