Good Friday – Twenty Centuries Ago…

By now, the rooster has crowed, alerting Simon Peter to the fact that, just as Jesus predicted, he would deny Jesus not once, but three times. The other disciples have scattered in fear.

Jesus has spent the entire night facing a very illegal, very hostile, kangaroo court designed to railroad Jesus into a verdict of execution.

The Jewish leaders have demanded an audience with Pontius Pilate, who, normally in Caesarea, is in Jerusalem because of the crowds associated with Passover. Pilate tolerates the Jewish leaders, hearing them out. But, seeing through their false accusations, Pilate agrees not to have Jesus executed (that comes later), but to have him flogged.

Jesus is about to have his back shredded, ripped from his body, producing voluminous blood-loss and hypovolemic shock.

But Jesus didn’t come to earth to be flogged for the sins of the world – he came for one reason, and one reason only: to die. For you, and for me.

This morning, while we go through our daily routines use your imagination and travel back twenty centuries. A verdict is about to be handed down….a death sentence. For only Rome has the authority to execute a death sentence. And their favorite form of execution? Crucifixion.

Crucifixions are “events” intended to send a message of terror to the onlooking crowds: “Thinking about rebelling again Rome? Behold! This is your fate should you follow through.”

But, this is Good Friday. Why? There can be no resurrection without crucifixion.

Truth be told – no one (not Pilate, not the Jewish leaders, not even Satan himself) took Jesus’ life. Jesus willingly *gave* it. “For God so loved the world that He gave….”

Today, consider Him who took upon Himself our sin. This is the Gospel….

From John MacArthur’s brilliant “God With Us”:

“Think for a moment about how Jesus died. It was not an easy, gentle passing from this world. It was excruciating agony and torture of the worst kind, for it was on a cross. He SUFFERED in His death. He drank the bitter cup at Calvary in its fullness – He drained it to the last drop. He experienced all the PAIN, all the LONELINESS, all the TORMENTS that have ever been associated with death…..The death He tasted was the penalty of our sin. He received the full force of all that the devil could throw at Him. More than that (far more), He received the full expression of God’s wrath over sin.”

“He who knew no sin, became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

It’s Friday,…but Sunday’s Comin’, Nick