So much has been said about Christ’s death on the cross that many people, even those who passionately love the Lord, can sort of glaze over. A good expose on Beth Moore would be more welcome right now, we secretly think.
A lot of our weariness with Good Friday blog posts, sermons and what have you results from familiarity with the story. We’ve read the accounts by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John countless times, almost so often that we can recite the details effortlessly (and without much thought). As the saying goes, “familiarity breeds contempt.”
But perhaps Good Friday also bothers us because it confronts us with the horrible truth that our sin nailed Jesus to the cross. The more we read about the beatings, mockery and the physical anguish of crucifixion the Lord endured, the more we want to distance ourselves from the whole mess. Surely our sin can’t be that bad!
Surely it is!
Like it or not, ladies, even the Old Testament points to Christ’s crucifixion as the only means of atonement. Over 600 years earlier, the prophet Isaiah predicated that Messiah would suffer for the sins of the people.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
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.
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. ~~Isaiah 53: 4-6 (ESV)
When we look at the cross, we see our sin. And, since our pride wants to flatter us that we are actually good people who simply make a few mistakes here and there (hey, doesn’t everybody?), we prefer to ignore the implications of Christ’s crucifixion.
But as we acknowledge our sinfulness, the cross becomes beautiful, even in its horror. It reveals a Savior Who loves us enough to bear the wrath of God that we deserve! As Christians, we cherish the cross as Christ’s loving atonement for our transgressions against Him.
The crucifixion story, for all its familiarity, never ceases to fill Christians with both sorrow and joyous wonder. As we await the glories of Resurrection Sunday, we can praise the Lord for taking our sin upon Himself, setting us free from its consequences. As we rejoice in His inexplicable love toward us, the accounts by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of Good Friday never get old.