Calling this Friday “good” might seem a mockery to those who don’t comprehend its significance. Yet, for the believer in Jesus Christ, Good Friday is both prelude and crescendo of humanities healing. That day forgiveness and undeserved grace were gifted through God’s brutal sacrifice. The crushing debt of sin was paid.
The significance of Good Friday was recognized by creation first. The mountains writhed in sorrow, the heavens shook, the very fibers of the earth trembled. Their Maker was humiliated. They responded in horror.
Man mocked his God.
Beat him. Flogged him. Crucified him.
Yet, the grace of God willingly gave on. Anyone who doubts that the soul of God is love need only glance at Christ in agony. It was not nails but will that held him there. Desire for human restoration.
Divinity descended to us. Us.
The goodness of this Friday is the forgiveness offered to each and every one of us.
At the cross our shame-faced nothingness is absolved by His blood-stained everything.
Before Christ’s death on the cross forgiveness for sins was accomplished on a daily basis through offerings and animal sacrifices. Atonement was mediated by the priests and accomplished at the Temple.
Once a year the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies, a sacred inner chamber at the temple. This area was separated from the rest of the temple by a thick veil. Most historians estimate the veil was approximately sixty feet hight and four inches thick. Only the High Priest could enter and, when he did, it was to offer a special sacrifice for the forgiveness of the people.
When Christ surrendered his spirit and breathed his final breath the curtain, dividing God and man, the Holy of Holies from everyday life was split from top to bottom. Torn into two halves.
To me, this is the most moving symbol of Christ’s sacrifice. The veil, a permanent symbol of man’s unworthiness was shattered. Man was accepted, forgiven, granted unimaginable grace and intimate privileges with God himself.
When we enter the presence of God, which is still the Holy of Holies, we are veiled by the sacrifice of Christ.
“ Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body” – Hebrews 10:19-20
That is why Good Friday had to be.
It’s almost time to celebrate, almost.
First though, let our hearts be hushed by holiness. Let us remember how we came to be free. Let us cherish the fact that, those of who know Christ as savior, are veiled in his grace. We have access to He who created the mountains, guides humanity and is defined by Love.
Have a Holy Easter, friends.