All too often, churches quickly skim over Jesus’ suffering so that they can primarily focus upon celebrating his resurrection. While his resurrection is certainly the most exciting aspect of Easter, Good Friday can teach us the following:
1. How easy it is to follow the crowd. Though Pilate does not find Jesus guilty, he is afraid to oppose Caesar and jeopardize his own life. It can be easy to criticize Pilate’s decision to crucify Jesus, though we likewise succumb to pressure and fear in our own lives. We must remember that we are called to follow Jesus even when our faith is questioned and scorned.
2. How deeply Jesus loves us. Though Jesus’ profound love for us is spoken of often, have most of us really considered how difficult it is to love those who persecute us? Many of us are all too quickly annoyed by loud neighbours, difficult coworkers, and people who share different opinions from our own. If it is difficult to imagine dying for or loving these people, it would be nearly impossible to die for someone who was eager to persecute or kill us. Yet Jesus was willing to suffer so that the sins of anyone who seeks him are forgiven. We need to follow Jesus' example by thanking him for his compassion towards us and by showing his kindness to others every day.
3. That God fulfills his promises. The fact that Jesus was pierced and that God demonstrated grace and mercy to the Israelites through Jesus' death and resurrection was prophesied in Zechariah 12. Thus, Good Friday not only represents how Jesus died to forgive our sins, but should also remind us of how God remains true to his word. This should excite us, as God has provided us with many prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled. We need to share these promises with others.
Therefore, on this Good Friday, instead of merely focusing on how Jesus' gruesome suffering, we should also focus on how this passage also focuses on the positive which is his call for us to follow him so that we can experience his abundant love and exciting promises. These assurances certainly make it easier to follow Jesus no matter what the cost.
Minnedosa Evangelical Covenant Church