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 those. 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, re-created after the image of 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.