I have visited the Holy Land (Israel) on 2 occasions and it always fascinates me how 2,000 years later we can stand in the very place that these events took place. Okay, so there is now a church in the place and we cannot be exactly sure that they have marked the right spot, but they are places we can visit to remembered these dreadful and yet life-giving events that took place on that Friday afternoon.
One question I am often asked when I visit schools and talk about Good Friday is ‘Why is Friday called good when they killed Jesus – God’s son?’ It is an excellent question – when you first hear the story of Jesus and his death on the cross it looks like it is the most terrible thing ever to have happened. But then you need to remember why it happened.
God loves his world and has done since it was created – but as humans we try to be like God and take control and we have forgotten many times that we have only care of the world, but it is God to whom it belongs. The Bible tells many stories of how people have turned away from God and tried to take control and power, they have done this while hurting others. It is this disobedience of God’s laws that we can sin. Sin happens in many ways and really no one sin is worse than another. They are all bad and they are all terrible. Sin is thinking only about yourself and ignoring God’s will for your life.
In human terms when we do wrong, we would be punished, but God is more generous than that. God takes all the blame so that we do not get punished. God gave his son to die on our behalf.
The good thing about Good Friday is that through Jesus’ death we have received life and full life. That is something to be thankful. The sad bit of Good Friday is really about ourselves… if we had always obeyed God’s word then he wouldn’t have had to send his son.
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. (John 3:16)