JOHN 16:26-27: “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: What’s the big deal about Good Friday? Many churches do not even observe it anymore. Everything is focused on Easter Sunday. There are no egg hunts on Good Friday. There are no Easter Brunches on Good Friday.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL, ANYWAY?
John chapter 16 does not directly speak of Good Friday. Jesus does speak of His going to the Father, but He does not speak of His death and His suffering in this chapter. Yet, in this chapter, we discover the heart of Jesus’ ministry and the reason for Good Friday.
GOOD FRIDAY IS A BIG DEAL!
As Jesus spoke to His disciples about His leaving them and returning to the Father they did not grasp what He was saying. They still had not understood the reality of His coming crucifixion. When they thought about Jesus leaving them their hearts were filled with sadness.
- “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” John 16:5-7 NKJV
From the disciple’s perspective, there was nothing good about the prospect of Jesus leaving them. From Jesus’ perspective, His leaving was the fulfillment of His life and ministry. In Jesus’ humanity, He could only be with His small group of disciples. Yet, if Jesus returned to the Father He could send the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who would not be limited by any physical restraints. The Holy Spirit would come to indwell their hearts and the hearts of everyone who would believe.
Yet, for this to take place, Jesus would have to pay the ultimate sacrifice. He would have to give His life as a sacrifice for our sins. When we think about Christ’s sufferings on this night we call Good Friday, we usually focus on the physical torture that he endured. Yet, the horrible beating and abuse that Jesus enured was not the sacrifice for our sin. The sacrifice for our sins took place when God poured out His wrath upon Jesus as He hung on the cross. He bore the wrath of God so that we could receive the grace of God!
- “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:45-46 NKJV
We need to understand what took place on this day we call Good Friday. Jesus, who was without sin, surrendered to a brutal death on the cross, to stand in our place and bear the righteous judgment of God against sin. Jesus, the Eternal Logos, who for eternity had been in loving fellowship with the Father and the Spirit, for this moment in time, experienced the true burden of our sins – separation from the Father.
I don’t think we can understand the pain, the darkness, and the loneliness that Jesus experienced as He hung on the cross. In His humanity, He felt the darkness of life without the Father. In His humanity, He bore the full penalty of our sin. In His humanity, He cried – “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” When we look at this moment in time it seems strange that we would call it…
Yet, it is Good Friday, because in this moment of time, and when Jesus uttered His final words – “IT IS FINISHED!”, the full purpose of His life and ministry was fulfilled. The resurrection was the validation of this completed work. However, the work was not complete when the stone was rolled away. Jesus’ work of redemption, His life purpose, was fulfilled when He uttered these powerful words.
John 16 reveals Jesus’ purpose. It shows us why Good Friday is good. It reveals the heart of the Father in sending His only begotten Son. It reminds us why Jesus was willing to pay the ultimate price for our sins.
- “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.” John 16:26-27 NKJV
The Father loves us! The Father desires to have fellowship with us! The Father hungers for us to enter into His presence. Yet, we were separated from the Father because of our sin. Jesus paid the price for our sin. Jesus became the propitiation for our sins. This means that His sacrifice satisfied the righteous judgment of God against sin. Now, through the blood of Jesus Christ, by grace through faith, the Father receives us with open and loving arms!
- “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:19-23 NKJV
GOOD FRIDAY IS A BIG DEAL!
GOOD FRIDAY IS THE ONLY DEAL!
Father, as I ponder Jesus’ great sacrifice for my sin, I am humbled and thankful. Through Jesus’ shed blood I now can enter into Your presence with a cleansed heart in full assurance of faith. By Your great love, You have washed me and cleansed me. Without Good Friday none of this would be possible. I stand in awe of Your great gift and give You praise.
This Good Friday I pray that many will hear Your Spirit calling them and will receive Your gift of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord!
In Jesus’ Name!