Summary: A narrative description of the good things that transpired on Good Friday.
Sermon - #42
Title: “The Goodness of Good Friday”
Scripture: Matthew 27:45-56
Key Terms –
Goodness – Being Positive
Good Friday – The Friday before Easter, observed by Christians in commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Background – Many people often question why we call the day of crucifixion “Good Friday.” Many have said the word good used to have a secondary meaning of “Holy.” Some say God and good got switched around due to their similarity and one case was the phrase God be with you, which is today good-bye. So perhaps Good Friday was originally God’s Friday. But I think we call it Good Friday because in pious retrospect, all that tragedy brought about the greatest goodness there could be. Yet, despite its sadness, Good Friday is truly good. It is Godly sorrow. If it was an accident to make God’s Friday called Good Friday. I say it was not an accident at all. It was God’s own doing a sharp prophetic jab at time and culture obsessed by happiness. The commemoration of Christ’s death reminds us of that human sin that caused this death. At the same time of course, Good Friday recalls for us the greatness and wonder of God’s love that he should submit to death for us. No wonder in parts of Europe; the day is not called “Good” but “Great” or “Holy” Friday. Good Friday has always challenged merely human goodness. Its sad commemoration reminds us that in the face of sin, our goodness avails nothing. Only one is good enough to save us. That person is Jesus; he did so is cause indeed for his goodness is cause for celebration.
In the text, Jesus has suffered much agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, so much anguish that he actually sweats blood from his capillaries. Upon preparing to leave the Garden he is betrayed by Judas and arrested. He is taken to stand before the High Priests Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin Court. While standing before his accusers, they question and probe in hopes of discovering false evidence against our Lord and Savior. He is asked if he is the Christ, the Son of God and he responds by saying, it is as you say. For this answer he is accused of blasphemy and he is condemned to death. Immediately, they began to spit in his face, strike him with their fists, slap him and mock him with the words prophesy to us, Christ who hit you. He doesn’t say a mumbling word and while all of this is occurring Peter denies that he even knows our Lord and Savior. At this point, the Chief Priests and Elders make the decision that Jesus should be put to death; he is bound and led before Pilate on Good Friday. He is asked are you the King of the Jews, he responds again it is as you say. At this point, they make a decision as customary in this time to release a prisoner during the Passover, they choose Barrabas as opposed to Jesus and the crowd begins shouting crucify him; crucify him even though Pilate could find no fault in him. After the interrogation, Pilate sent him to King Herod who happened to be in town and had hoped to see Jesus perform a miracle. Herod has Jesus led to the practorium by the governor’s soldiers, he is stripped and they put a scarlet robe on him along with a crown of thorns on his head and the blood came streaming down. They then proceed to put a scepter (a staff carried by sovereign or those in authority) in his hand and repeatedly begin striking him over his head again, again, and again, after which they took off his clothes, he was scourged with the flagellum (a short whip with braided thongs, attached iron balls or sharp pieces of sheep bones which tore flesh from the bones). After the scourging, the entire battalion of soldiers gathered his faint bleeding body, put a scarlet robe on him pressing the weight of the robe on his torn shoulders, set a reed in his hand, knelt down beside him mocking him again saying, “Hail to the King of Jews.” They then spit on him again, put a crown of thorns on his head and begin hitting him on the head again, again and again. They had kept him up all night long, he had endured mental and physical anguish, they had beaten him and mocked him and now they make a beaten and battered Savior bear his own cross in an attempt to lead him own the Via Dolorosa (the way to the cross). Well Minister Blue what’s the goodness in all of that, I’m glad you asked, let me tell you and I’m outta here:
• Christ was punished and chastised for our sins, he suffered willingly in order to save us, I see goodness in the fact that we all must become spectacles in order to save others.