Why is it called ‘Good’ Friday?

Today is good Friday. We call it good because today our Lord Jesus Christ died upon a cross and was buried. Wait, what?  Why would we call the day Jesus died as Good Friday, wouldn’t bad Friday make more sense? or sad Friday, or even depressing Friday? Why would people celebrate today? Surely today should be a solemn day of remembrance. The disciples didn’t celebrate this day, arguably it was one of the worst days of their lives; they thought everything they had learned and been through with Jesus had been for nothing.

But they did not know the end of the story (even though Jesus had literally told them multiple times he would come back). Romans 6:3 reads ‘Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?’. This death we are baptized into isn’t simply the death of a pretty swell guy, it’a the death of sin, ‘God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21). When Jesus died so did our sin. But why did Jesus have to die? well Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death; the only way to pay off the debt and make amends for our wrong doing is to die. It isn’t a simple matter of ‘ah I see you told a lie, better pay the £50 fine and help an old lady cross the road’, it’s more a matter of ‘ah you told a lie, guess you chose against the truth, and as the truth is life, you chose death’.

Why is sin so bad? Why is even a little sin so bad? well there’s the reason I just explained, but also I was taught it in another way. If you owned a car which 0.1% of the time turned the opposite direction, you wouldn’t use the car again, most likely because to find this out you have crashed. Let’s say you own a cooker, but 0.1 of the time you use it, it will explode and kill you, you would never run the risk of using that cooker. Even a little sin, or chip on a teacup, is enough to render it unusable. We are that cooker, even if 99.99% of the time we are good, that 0.01% of the time we are bad ruins the whole product.

What Jesus did today, is he took that 0.01% (or whichever percentage you feel represents your good/bad ratio) upon himself, but he took everyone’s 0.01% onto himself. Now not including those who have lived before, today there is currently about 7.5 billion people on earth, so we can conclude Jesus became at least 75,000,000% sin. Jesus did not simply die, he died billions of times over. Today is good Friday, because today is the day sin was defeated, it is the day that God payed the highest price by giving letting himself be subject to the sin that should have killed us. Today, we remember that, and we remember that because of it we can live.

‘Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life’ (Romans 6:4). When we are baptized into Christ, we acknowledge the defeat of our sin on the cross, and because we are sinless in Spirit, God can raise us again in newness of life, where we are no longer held back by sin. For those in Jesus, there is no sin holding us back from having a relationship with the Father, we are not useless or broken, but our brokenness is taken away and we are restored, the chip in the cup is fixed, we can now do what we have always been made to: to live and love to the fullest.

That is why today is Good.

God bless you and keep you always.

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