Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Worst Good Day

Photo Courtesy of: Priscilla Du Preez

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside. He sat down on the judge’s seat in a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Aramaic, Gabbatha). It was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about noon. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!” They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?” “We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests answered. Then he handed him over to be crucified.

                                                                                                      —John 19:13-16

The day had come. After three years of public ministry and one last very eventful week, the moment had come for Jesus to give up His life. What we celebrate at Christmastime with gifts, festivities, and great joy—the birth of the Messiah—had all led up to this. But the feel is different than that of Christmas morning. We don’t sing songs on this day that has commonly become known as “Good Friday.” We don’t exchange gifts, admire special decorations, or speak of “good tidings of great joy.” Truly, the day just doesn’t really feel all that good.

Especially when you read the account of all that happened to Jesus on this so-called good day.

But that is precisely what we have to remember—this was (and is) truly a good day! As we read the full account of all that Christ endured on this day, we are horrified—and rightfully so. It’s barbaric, it’s tortuous, it’s bloody. But what it led to, what it resulted in, is what caused it to be a good day. We can stop, look back, ponder, and believe it was, in fact, a good day. Because it is the very day the Lord secured freedom, salvation, hope, and eternal life for us, all at once. As Jesus said in His final moment of life while on the cross, “It is finished.” (See John 19:30.)

All those things we have seen women of the Bible yearn for and strive to find over the last few weeks and months —all those very same things we are on a quest for ourselves—can be and are fulfilled in Christ as a result of what He secured for us on the cross:

He secured salvation for us—no longer do we have to be on a quest to try to earn acceptance and eternal life.

He secured an identity for us—no longer do we have to wonder who we are or seek to “discover” ourselves.

He secured a purpose for us—no longer do we have to wonder why we were born or strive for impact in our everyday lives.

He secured love for us—no longer do we have to strive to earn love or despair over our seeming lack of it.

He secured an eternal family for us—no longer do we have to strive for relationships.

He secured fulfillment for us—no longer do we have to strive to look for someone or something who will fill us up.

He secured rest for us—no longer do we have to work ourselves to the bone as if we are employees of God; we can rest in His grace as beloved children of God.

All of this—every single last thing we have talked about during this devotional series thus far—and more was secured for us on the cross on that very good Friday all those years ago. If it weren’t for what happened on Good Friday, we would not be able to find in Christ the fulfillment we long for in each of these areas. That, my friend, is why we are able to call such a dark, sad, anguish-filled day “good.” May that serve as a daily reminder for you of how God can and does bring immense good out of everything. He did it then, and He is still doing it today.

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