Good Friday is “good” because I am so bad. On this day, many many years ago, the sinless Son of God suffered and died in my place–Jesus the good one died in the place of you and me, the bad ones.
Bad Barabass should’ve hung where good Jesus hung. Barabass was a guilty rebel and murderer. Jesus was innocent, sinless, blameless. Barabass deserved the horror of the cross. Jesus did not. But this had always been the plan. Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was always looking forward to his Good Friday death in Jerusalem. Jesus’ whole mission on earth was to live the sinless life that Barabass and you and me couldn’t live and then, on Good Friday, to die the sin-deserving death that Barabass and you and me ought to have died.
That’s why Good Friday is so good.
And I think it’s so good that at 4pm today, our church will hold a service where we sing of this good death and where 7 members of our church body will give a short meditation on Christ’s 7 last words from the cross. My wife will be sharing a meditation on what I’m tempted to call the “goodest,” most gospel-soaked words in the Bible: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”