You don’t have to search very far to find somebody whinging about how they hate the name Good Friday. Jesus died, they insist. Death isn’t good. But, how would you feel if you were due to die and somebody stood in your place so that you could go free? I’d imagine pretty good. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, I’m pretty sure it’s the best Friday on record for you.
So, what exactly is so good about Good Friday? Here are some things:
The main reason Good Friday can be called good is because the price of sin was paid. Those who were under God’s wrath, facing his righteous judgement for their rebellion against him, had their sin fully and finally paid for at the cross. Jesus bore the wrath of God so we don’t have to. That is pretty good.
Another reason Good Friday is good is because the power of death was defeated at the cross. The Bible tells us that ‘the wages of sin is death’. But at the cross, Jesus paid the price of sin so that those who deserve death may receive God’s gift of eternal life. Paul tells us that Jesus ‘abolished death’, which makes Good Friday pretty good.
Satan rendered powerless
Despite the view of many, the Bible is clear that Satan is real. He is not a cartoonish character of fun, he is a real being who really hates God and his people. But though he is real, we don’t need to afford him too much significance specifically because of Good Friday. The writer to the Hebrews says, Jesus ‘shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil’. Jesus’ death destroyed the power of Satan, which is pretty good.
The Bible repeatedly speaks about people being slaves. It talks about us being slaves to sin and, elsewhere, slaves to death. But the Bible tells us that Jesus won our freedom at the cross. Paul says, ‘the sting of death is sin’. But at the cross, where sin was defeated, Paul tells us it was swallowed up in victory. Likewise, the writer to the Hebrews tells us that Jesus ‘free[s] those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.’ Our slavery to sin and death were overcome on Good Friday, which is pretty good.