Summary: What happen on this day some 2000 years ago was a murder, a cruel, painful, and utterly shameful execution.
Sermon for Good Friday
Here is the only message I will proclaim on Good Friday. Because what happen on this day some 2000 years ago was a murder, a cruel, painful, and utterly shameful execution. Paul the apostle says it best when he holds up the horror of the actual cross, “We preach Christ crucified.”
I just re-watched the Passion of Christ last night. I remember when the movie first came out there was some controversy regarding who killed the Son of God. Some say the Jews. Some say the Romans. But if you read the Bible, I think you can only come to one conclusion. You killed Christ. You are the Jews. You are the Romans. You and I killed Jesus.
And if Jesus came again today, we the Romans and the Jews, the people living in Highland who do the same thing again. We would place him on the cross of today and reject him, because his words do not go along with what the world teaches.
Christ, the Son of God, comes to us and dies a real death, “Wrapped in our Sins,” says Paul. You see, actually wrapped in our sin, or bearing our sin is not some abstract affair. It is a real and public fact record in history. We beat him, spit on him, mock him as a king, crown him with thorns, torture him, forsake him, and in the end, kill him! Jesus bears our sins in his body—actually. The real event occurs.
The real event of Jesus dying for your sin still occurs. Day in, day out, and the cross must be understood in actual terms as what Jesus does to us, to You!
Jesus came and died for you because God is merciful, not to make God merciful. We killed Jesus because he forgave sins, not to make forgiveness possible. In the cruel cross God reveals his own innermost heart, a heart of mercy for His children.
The cross is what it costs God to remain a God of mercy. And this cross cannot and must not be simply woven into a seamless idea of our mind. Because it is a tear in the fabric of life itself. Matthew, Mark, and Luke talk about darkness at noon, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two,” the earth shook, and the rocks were split.”
The cross is a wound that does not simply heal and leave no scar. And the cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Demands an answer.
And so comes about his sacrifice. Jesus dies at our hands. But even in death he cries, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And just so it is for you!
Jesus Christ was crucified because he had the audacity to forgive your sin. A forgiveness said by God in particular for You. Jesus died precisely because he said, “I forgive you in God’s name.” He died because we would not have it. Did he die in vain? Amen.