The reason we are able to call the day that Jesus died “Good Friday” is because we know that the cross is not the end of the story. Yet it is still good to remember the cross and what it means. There are three things to remember about the cross:
Remember the reason for the cross. Jesus died “For our sake” (2 Corinthians 5:21a). The cross of Jesus Christ is a demonstration of God’s love toward us. It was God acting on behalf of a humanity that had rejected Him. He died for our sake even though:
Compared to God, we are as insignificant as grasshoppers (Isaiah 40:22).
We are like sheep who have gone astray from His leadership (Isaiah 53:6).
We were dead in trespasses and sins, and were by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3).
We were God’s enemies (Romans 5:10).
We were still sinners (Romans 5:7-8).
Remember the reality of the cross. God “made him to be sin who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21b). On top of being betrayed, denied, flogged, mocked, and crucified, Jesus experienced the fullest extent of God’s hatred for sin.
The cross was a part of God’s plan (Acts 2:23).
It was God the Father’s will to crush His Son on the cross (Isaiah 53:10).
Jesus bore all of our sins on the cross (Isaiah 53:5-6).
Remember the result of the cross. Jesus died on the cross “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21c). Hope for eternal life, forgiveness of sins, and salvation is only found in Him.
This is known as the “great exchange,” because God takes our sin and gives us His righteousness.
Because of the cross, we don’t have to earn God’s favor. Eternal life is a free gift found only in Him.
Discussing and Applying the Sermon
Do you see yourself as someone who just needs to “do better” in order to be made right with God? Or do you recognize that “you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,” and can only be saved through Christ’s work on the cross?
Reflect on everything Jesus went through on your behalf on Good Friday. Thank Him for all that He did “For our sake” (2 Corinthians 5:21a).
Who can you share the good news of Good Friday and Easter with?