Good Friday

Matthew 27:1-56 or Mark 15:1-41 or Luke 23:1-49 or John 18:28-19:37; Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalms 2, 22, 38 & 51

Why They Call It “Good”

It certainly didn’t seem good at the time.  Indeed, to the disciples, it seemed that all they had lived for over the past three years had come to a nightmarish end.  The one whom they thought was the Messiah, with whom they would reign in an earthly kingdom of peace and prosperity, was now hanging on a cross.  A crucified Messiah?  Who ever heard of such a thing?  No wonder Paul said that a crucified Christ was a stumbling block to the Jews, and just plain folly to the gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:23).  Little has changed.  The preaching of the cross is just as offensive today, that is, when it is preached correctly.  Pray for preachers that they preach it faithfully, and that we all live it dutifully.

Yes, they thought they were going to get something more than what they got.  But what did they want?  An earthly kingdom?  Please!  I hope we all have had enough of these.  What the disciples did not know, and perhaps could not know until after the resurrection, indeed, even until after the ascension of our Lord and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, was that Christ offered them so much more.  His kingdom far surpasses what they envisioned.  We often say that Christ’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom – and that is true.  But I sometimes worry that to some people, that makes his kingdom less real.  We must understand that spiritual things, though spiritual, are real, and indeed, if things be compared, are more real than the tangible things that we see and adore now.  As the hymn says, one day, “The clouds [shall] be rolled back as a scroll.”  Then, “The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend.”  Then, shall we see the spiritual world in all of its glory.  For this world shall pass away.  In fact, the Bible tells us that it is passing away now right before our very eyes (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:17).  The world which Christians are promised far outshines this one, and is so much more real than this one.  This world is just a faint copy, a poor imitation, and it was even before the fall.

We’re not going back to the Garden; we’re going to heaven.  But we must become spiritual creatures to get there.  Saving faith makes us spiritual creatures, and we grow in matters of the Spirit for the rest of our lives.  We put off the flesh, and put on the new man, the new nature, or the spiritual man, created after Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:17-24).  And God changes us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).  There are other reasons why it’s called “Good” Friday.  But I think this is one of them.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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