Summary: What is so Good about Good Friday? "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34
The Seven Words of eternal significance
What is so Good about Good Friday?
Let’s turn to Luke’s gospel chapter 23 beginning with verse thirty four
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34
Good Friday is the most solemn day for Christians. This day is known as Good Friday, It is termed as ‘good’, ‘best’ and the ‘blessed’ because It is the day on which Jesus died on the cross. So perhaps Good Friday was originally God’s Friday. Jesus death is the most sacred moment and marked as a turning point in the history of the world. We believe that God incarnate suffered and died on the cross as a propitiation for the sins of all mankind. World view it with compassion as the unmerited suffering of an exceptional individual who was guiltless. Why the most unique and compassionate Person who ever walked on the face of this earth was crucified?
TWO THOUSAND years ago when Jesus Christ was crucified on Mount Calvary outside the city walls of Jerusalem the event marked a turning point in the history of the world. We believe that God incarnate suffered and died on the cross as a propitiation for the sins of all mankind. The eternal Son of God was slain. The loveliest Person who ever walked the face of this earth was crucified. Twenty centuries have passed since the Crucifixion Day, yet the Bible account enables us to visualize the event with a great deal of accuracy. It was a turbulent afternoon in the spring. An execution was taking place. A surging crowd stood by. It was the eve of a great annual festival that had brought thousands to Jerusalem. The earth had been rocked by an earthquake. The sky was darkened by a supernatural eclipse. There were three crosses on Golgotha. On the right and on the left were two robbers crucified for rebellion and murder. On the center cross hung a sinless Sufferer! He was dying for the sins of the world.
Jesus faced the cup of God’s wrath upon sin on that hideous cross. It is incredible to consider all that He endured in those 18 hours. The physical suffering was horrific but the spiritual war within the three hours of darkness is something we cannot comprehend. In those three hours, when utter darkness engulfed the cross, Jesus faced the sins of the world placed upon Him. Hell was unleashed to vent its furry against the Son of God.
The final words of a dying loved One are most precious. We recall them at our moments of trial, discouragement or challenge; seeking strength, encouragement and even direction from them. Jesus spoke seven times during the closing moments on the Cross. Before the darkness descended on the scene, Jesus spoke three times. During the darkness, He spoke once. And after the darkness had passed, He uttered three more sentences of love. The seven utterances of Jesus from the cross, the seven `Words' as they are known are of eternal significance to those who listen to them, a heroic confrontation of evil inspiring millions the world over. When we examine what our Savior exclaimed on the cross, we can learn about His true character and His integrity before the Father. We can see the love that pours out from His wounds, directed at us! Neither the heat, nor the sweat mixed with the blood, nor the agony and emotional distress distracted Him from having you and me on His mind that day. From these Seven Words of Jesus we can draw strength and courage for our own walk on this earth as we follow His call to be His disciples. He suffered the extreme penalty of death that we may live! The words which Jesus uttered on the Cross are worthy of special consideration because of who uttered them, where they were uttered, why they were spoken, and what they mean. They are precious because they are deep expressions of the Eternal son of God in His time of terrible agony in those moments when He actually paid the price for our redemption.
THE FIRST WORD
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do."( Luke 23:34)
In the midst of his excruciating suffering, the heart of Jesus was focused on others rather than himself. Here we see the nature of God’s agape love—unconditional and divine love. It makes sense that the first word of Jesus from the cross is a word of forgiveness. That’s the point of the cross, after all. Jesus is dying so that we might be forgiven for our sins; so that we might be reconciled to God for eternity. Because Christ died on the cross for us, we are cleansed from all wickedness, from every last sin.