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There has always been a certain mystique surrounding the advent of the Christian Holy Day, Good Friday. As a former altar boy, I never quite understood how the crucifixion of the Son of God could be synonymous with anything "Good."

After all, what's good about a slow death on a cross? The ubiquitous presence of crucifixes at home, school and church was a constant reminder of the terrible agony Jesus suffered. Even now, years later, I still remember the sense of awe that pervaded the hours between noon and 3 p.m., when silence and personal introspection affirmed that, indeed, something fearsome and cataclysmic had happened over 2000 years ago

It was a number of years later, during Easter weekend, that the mystery of Good Friday was at length revealed to me. At last, I comprehended the powerful spiritual ramifications and understood why the term "good" was relevant.

Based on 2 Corinthians 5:19, I humbly present my discovery to you with the prayer that it will change your life as it did mine:

"...that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation."
  • "God was in Christ...." This simply means that Jesus Christ is both God and man. On the cross, He represented you and I, but since he was totally sinless, His judgment and punishment were unjustified. In Christ, God took the initiative to come into our world and personally pay sin's penalty. That's amazing grace!
  • "Reconciling the world unto Himself...." To reconcile means to make things right. On the cross, Jesus made things right between God and mankind.

    After the tsunami of 2004, the media asked me if I thought God was sending judgment on the world. My response was that God already sent judgment on Christ. Because of Christ's punishment on the cross, every human being now has the opportunity to be reconciled with God.
  • "Not imputing their trespasses unto them...." Again, because justice was satisfied on the cross, you need not be condemned for your sins. When Jesus uttered the words, "It is finished," He was saying that God was satisfied and sin's penalty was paid in full.
  • "And has committed to us the word of reconciliation." God is not mad at the world! Faith to receive forgiveness comes by hearing this simple yet profound message. By accepting Christ and the merits of His work on the cross, you can begin a new and exciting relationship with God. Your sins are forgiven on legal grounds and you can live with the assurance that you now have eternal life!

    The law has a procedural defense known as double jeopardy, which simply means that a person cannot be judged twice for the same crime. Since Christ was judged and condemned for your sins, you stand acquitted when, by faith, you accept Jesus' sacrifice on your behalf.
Second Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

That's good news. That's Good Friday!

Erie Christian Fellowship Church
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

James Dumont
Web site: Erie Christian Fellowship Church
 
Pastor Jim Dumont and Pam Dumont are the founding pastors of Erie Christian Fellowship Church in Fairview, PA. In 1981, their ministry literally began in a tent when they obeyed God's call to, "Move to Erie, become established and build a great church."
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